April 1. Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, in an interview with the newspaper Ouest-France, said that French authorities had foiled 20 jihadi attacks in 2017 and two in 2018. He also revealed that of the 26,000 known jihadis in France with S-files (fiche “S,” those considered highly dangerous), only 20 were deported during 2017.
April 4. French prosecutors called for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, an MP for Essone (Île-de-France), to be given a suspended fine of €5,000 ($6,000) for “provocation to hatred or discrimination” for using the words “migratory invasion.” While running as a candidate for president in the 2017 elections, he tweeted: “In 2016, the Socialists compensated for the declining birth rate with the migratory invasion.” Dupont-Aignan said that his remarks were aimed at the Socialist Party rather than immigration and that, in any event, as an MP he is immune from prosecution. The public prosecutor disagreed: “We have a leading politician, a declared candidate in the presidential election, who publicly promotes, on his personal account, a conspiracy and racist theory born in the depths of the French far right…the thesis of ‘the great replacement’ by [French writer] Renaud Camus. A failure to condemn him would open the floodgates of uninhibited racist speech…against all those who do not belong to the national community, including migrants and immigrants.” The court will decide the matter on June 6.
April 4. Sociologist Olivier Galland, in an interview with the newspaper Libération, said that Islamic radicalism is fueled more by Islamic doctrine than by economic and social factors. Galland is the co-author of “The Radical Temptation,” a new book about radicalism which reveals “a cultural cleavage” between young Muslims and non-Muslims in France. He criticized the “blindness” of many of his colleagues who insist that radicalization is caused by socio-economic factors: