France has been the target of many terrorist acts once again in 2020. In September, the Charlie Hebdo political humor magazine’s office outside Paris was attacked with a knife. The magazine was published five years ago by Hz. After Muhammad published his cartoons, he was attacked and 12 people died.
These cartoons were used this year by a teacher named Samuel Paty as a material for a lesson on freedom of expression at a school outside Paris. In October, a Chechen attacker waited for the teacher at the exit of the school and decapitated the teacher with an attack that shocked all of France.
A few days later, three people were stabbed to death in a church in the southern city of Nice. The attack was organized by an Islamist extremist who came from Tunisia as a refugee to France.
Responding to the attacks with an anti-radical plan, French President Emmanuel Macron used the words “a religion in crisis” for Islam, saying, “We must protect our citizens from this evil, radical Islam.”
Macron’s statements were met with protests in the Islamic world. However, the President of France remained calm. Macron declared war on radical preachers, closed many mosques, and asked Muslim leaders to support the French Republican Charter of Values.
In the Austrian capital, Vienna, in November, an armed attacker killed four and injured 23. He was an ISIS sympathizer who was registered with the offensive intelligence agencies. European leaders have called for more security checks at EU borders to catch extremists.
However, terrorist experts say the main threat comes from the so-called “domestic production”, radicalized people in Europe.
Harsh political divisions also strengthen extremists’ hand, according to security expert Sajjan Gohel.
As Europe struggled with radical Islam, the rise of far-right terror emerged as another problem. Security institutions in the UK announced that they prevented 27 terrorist attacks in 2020, including the far right.