France’s Minister of the Interior, Gerard Collomb, was clearly happy on January 1st. Why? No terrorist attack had occurred on New Year’s Eve. Collomb warmly thanked the 140,000 police officers, soldiers, firefighters, and civil security associations who had been mobilized to block any potential terrorist attack. To give just an inkling of the size of this security deployment on New Year’s Eve, consider that the entire French army (land forces only) consists of only about 117,000 active-duty soldiers.
All French governments since 2015 have denied that Islam is at war with France, but the Ministry of the Interior nevertheless mobilized higher numbers of security personnel than the French army has soldiers, to make sure that this New Year’s Eve would be a peaceful event.
In a press release, Minister Collomb said:
“Because of the strong police presence combined with efficiency of protection measures, the festivities of New Year’s Eve were able to happen peacefully for everyone in France.”
Once again, we hear out of Pyongyang the idea of giving up its nuclear weapons in return for U.S. security guarantees of nonaggression and which will also soon add the demand for food, energy and monetary aid. Speaking with reporters about these developments, President Donald Trump was quoted by AFP as having stated, “I believe they are sincere.” President Trump further stated, at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, “I hope they’re sincere,” soon adding an ominous, “We’ll soon find out.” Further commentary from President Trump claimed, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” President Trump added, “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.”
Vice President Mike Pence in Washington added to the President’s message stating, “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we…
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims. With respect to ISIS fighters returning to Canada, Trudeau has argued that they will be a “powerful voice for deradicalization” and that those who oppose their return are “Islamophobic.” Furthermore, the Government of Canada is not adding the names of returning ISIS fighters to the UN committee responsible for the listing of international jihadists.
Many Canadians (and others) are starting to believe that Prime Minister Trudeau’s position on reintegrating and deradicalizing ISIS fighters is unreasonable, if not delusional. Canada’s “Centre for Community Engagement and Deradicalization” has no leader and no deradicalization centre. Nor does it appear to have plans for a program which could operate inside or outside of government. It is also not clear that the law of Canada could force a returning ISIS fighter to attend such a program, even if it did exist. In France, a similar government sponsored program was a failure.
As an expert in global terrorism, anti-Semitism, Middle East wars and European policy, Fiamma Nirenstein has been following the popular uprising in Iran with particular interest. Nirenstein – award-winning journalist, best-selling author, former MP of the Italian Parliament and a fellow at the JCPA and says that just as former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s election and foreign policy were instrumental in the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, President Donald Trump is probably responsible for the street demonstrations across Iran that could lead to the downfall of the ayatollah-led Islamic Republic.
Nirenstein says that Europe, which has been silent on the uprisings in Iran, can no more take credit for this welcome turn of events than it could for the defeat of the U.S.S.R. — or even of Hitler’s Third Reich. It is America, she asserts, that has always been at the forefront of the struggle for freedom from the bondage of dictators; it is America that always saves Europe.
For five years, Umar Haque taught children at East London mosques and secondary schools. Then he was arrested.
On March 2, Haque was found guilty of planning terror attacks at numerous sites across London, including the Parliament and Big Ben. And he’d been training his students to help him.
But Haque, who showed beheading videos, praised ISIS, and performed terrorist “role playing” scenes with as many as 250 students – some only 11 years old – is not an isolated example. As Europe braces for the return of citizens who fought with the Islamic State, some Muslim youth at home already are being radicalized, fed extremist ideologies via social media, their parents, their mosques, their teachers, and through one another. This, after all, is much of how European ISIS fighters became radicalized in the first place; and though Europe has cracked down on radical groups and imams, there clearly is far more work to do – most notably in the schools.
In Belgium, for instance, a secular primary school in Ronse reported in the spring of 2017 that some Muslim children “called others ‘pigs’ or ‘unbelievers.’ They made murder motions by drawing their fingers over their throats.” According to one teacher cited in the report, some students have stopped coming to school “because the school’s vision doesn’t fit with their beliefs,” and a toddler in her class has already been promised in marriage to a boy in Morocco. Another girl refused to stand next to boys in line.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Emmanuel Macron, France’s charismatic new leader, has adopted a proactive approach towards Iran that combines a moderate attitude with Sarkozy’s hard line. On the one hand, he supports the strict preservation of the 2015 nuclear agreement and opposes Trump’s ”fix or annul” view of the deal. He also supports tightened bilateral relations with Tehran. On the other hand, he has adopted a hard line, demanding the establishment of an international mechanism of inspection and sanctions on the Iranian ballistic missile program as well as a restriction on its destabilizing involvement in the region. Macron’s demands have started a war of words between Paris and Tehran that has the potential to escalate.
Emmanuel Macron’s presidency has been characterized, so far, by an ambitious promotion of bilateral relations and dialogue with as many states as possible – as well as a refusal to ignore bones of contention. His object is to promote France’s political status on the international scene and consequently its commerce and economy. He would also like to enhance his image as a mediator of international conflicts. His approach is on full view in his stance on Iran, particularly with regard to the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear project.