France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization [June 29, 2015]   [open pdf - 92KB]

"Several recent deadly terrorist attacks in France and Europe and a growing number of French citizens training and fighting with terrorist organizations in the Middle East and North Africa have considerably heightened concern about the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe. Most recently, on June 26, a man was beheaded during an attempt to blow up a U.S.-owned chemical factory near the city of Lyon. French police have arrested at least one suspect, a French citizen of Muslim background. The attack follows the killing of 17 people in three related terrorist attacks in Paris in early January. Officials believe that the assailants in both the Lyon and Paris attacks had links to Islamist groups espousing violent ideologies. According to European officials, France, which is home to Europe's largest Muslim population (an estimated 5 million-6 million), is the source of the largest number of European fighters in Syria and Iraq, most of whom are thought to be fighting with the Islamic State. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence estimates that roughly 1,200 of the 4,000 Western Europeans who have travelled to fight in the region are French citizens, more than double estimates from 2014. The French government has declared that these citizens' return to France and Europe represents 'the biggest threat the country faces in the coming years.' "

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10301
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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