France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and the Islamic State [November 18, 2015] [open pdf - 130KB]
"On November 13, 2015, coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris left at least 129 people dead and over 350 injured at six locations throughout the city. French President François Hollande attributed the attacks to the Islamic State terrorist organization (which subsequently claimed responsibility). The attacks were the deadliest-ever terrorist incident on French soil, and the latest in a number of attacks by Islamist extremists in France over the past several years. In early January, terrorists killed 17 people in three related attacks in Paris that targeted the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket (for more on recent Islamist terrorist attacks in Europe, see CRS Insight IN10209, European Security, Islamist Terrorism, and Returning Fighters, by Kristin Archick and Paul Belkin). French governments have long viewed Islamist terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda and, more recently, the Islamic State as the chief security threat facing the country. However, the November attacks have prompted a major escalation in what President Hollande characterizes as a 'war' against the Islamic State. French officials stress that the threat posed by a group in Syria directing French citizens in France and elsewhere to commit attacks in France presents a unique and complex challenge, with domestic, European, and international dimensions. Of particular concern is the growing number of French citizens training and fighting with terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State."
CRS Insight, IN10301
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html