Even while the scars of Charlie Hebdo and Paris is still fresh in the minds of the French people the country was once again hit. This time in southern French city of Nice. The victims- those celebrating Bastille Day, the national day of France. Utv Pakistan Report
The attacker who has been identified as a 31-year-old French citizen born in Tunisia. He was said to be known to police but not on a terror watch list.
He drove a truck into a crowd who were gathered to witness the fireworks on Bastille Day. The attacker was gunned down by police who also recovered guns and ammunition from his truck.
While no groups including ISIS have claimed responsibility of the attack, French President Francois Hollande termed in an act of terror.
Ever since the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015, this is the third time the country has been hit by a major terror attack.
This is more than any other European country has witnessed in the recent times. This have raised serious questions on why the country have become a soft target for terror attacks.
France stands for everything ISIS hates
The liberal and free values that the French society has upheld for centuries is something that the Islamic State could never accept.
While claiming the responsibility of the Paris terror attacks last year ISIS termed the French capital “the capital of prostitution and vice.”The terrorist group also stated that France and “all nations following in its path” are “at the top of the target list for the Islamic State.”
According to Neil Fergus, chief executive of Intelligent Risks (IR), is an Australian-based expert on international terrorism, France was a prime target for IS-related terror attacks because it was “a beacon of liberty, egalitarian and with social values”.
France’s crackdown on Islamic terror globally
Be it in Iraq and Syria in the recent times or Afghanistan in the past decade, France a NATO member country has been for many years in the forefront of the “war on terror.”
Over 10,000 French troops are currently deployed abroad – over 3,000 in Western Africa, 2,000 in Central, and 3,200 in Iraq. In fact one of the attackers in Paris was heard shouting “This is for Syria.”
Home grown terror
In all the recent terror attacks in France most of the attackers were either first or second generation French citizens. France which is home to the biggest Islamic population in Europe has been struggling to check the spread of radicalisation for sometime now.
This is a significant recruiting pool for radical Islamic groups, like al-Qaeda and ISIS. French authorities were currently investigating more than 150 cases in the greater Paris region as part of their ongoing counter-terrorism efforts.
Failure to integrate immigrants
France’s 7-9% Muslim in a population of 66 million, mostly immigrants and descendants of immigrants from its colonial era in North Africa. While they have been living in France for years they complain that they haven’t been welcomed “to be like French citizens,” in a society which takes pride in its multi-cultural population.
This resentment along with lack of job opportunities have made a lot of disenfranchised youth to take up arms, a desire which groups like IS gleefully preys on.