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Why France is on the terror radar of ISIS

By Pallavi

France woke up to a shock with the Charlie Hebdo incident, when two gunmen sprayed bullets at the unaware satirical cartoonists at the magazine's office. Then came the Kosher supermarket killing and the final nail in the coffin was yesterday's siege at a gas delivery factory reportedly by ISIS. More than three attacks in the past 6 months-all of them devastating.

Experts believe that the pattern of terror attacks on France since the 1990s, when a commuter train was bombed, have a story to tell. In fact, in an interesting revealation by Europol, it is said that there have been more than 500 terrorism incidents in Europe and 40 percent of them were in France.


France's political moves dug its own grave

While the terror attacks had come down a bit in 2011, they reappeared in the later half of 2012. Experts blame it to the shifting political policy of the country. Durham University international security expert Shaun Gregory said,"France participated in the stabilization mission in Afghanistan.

It began to take an increased role in North Africa and in the instability there in Libya and Morocco. And also of course the operations in Mali in 2012, 2014."

Secondly, France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe and the way they have been treated by the French authorities has added on to the problems.

[Read: How the France, Kuwait and Tunisia attacks had one style]

He further added,"At the same time a perception of increased pressure on the Muslim community within France as a result of the French state trying to maintain its insistence on secularism and on the exclusion of religious symbols from the public space."

According to figures provided by the Interior Ministry, approximately 400 French nationals are fighting with the jihadists in Syria and Iraq. While some of them have come back, severla more are preparing to leave for the fields.

[Read: ISIS's 'ibadat' this Ramadan: Bloodshed in Middle East and Europe]

Terrorism expert Bill Tupman from Exeter University said,"In previous situations the political support for the far-right has been quite low," he said. "At present, like in the rest of Europe, support for the far right, for anti-immigration moves, for anti-multiculturalism, for national identity, is much stronger than it ever has been before in Europe."

He further concluded that the attack on Wedneday was a result of the piled-up anger among the Muslims.

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