France: “Terrorism researcher” says “invasive counterterrorist operations…may be contributing to jihadist radicalization”

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, April 23, 2017:

“’Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,’ said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.”

“Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy.”

This analysis is nothing short of insane, but it’s quite common. Establishment “terrorism experts” and the media elites said the same thing when Trump was elected. But step back for a moment and think about it. They’re saying that Muslims who are law-abiding, loyal citizens of a secular republic will be so enraged by police tactics that “have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country” that they will join the jihad that they otherwise would reject and abhor and actively oppose. If they can switch sides that easily and quickly, were they ever really on the side of France and the West in the first place?

These analysts are saying that if Le Pen is elected and institutes strong anti-terror measures, Muslims will be “marginalized” and “radicalized.” All right. Hollande was elected last time, propelled into the presidency by the Muslim vote. Yet France still suffered an escalating series of jihad attacks. Why were they feeling “marginalized” then, when their candidate won and followed exactly the recommendations that are made in this article — don’t fight terrorism too strongly, or you’ll only create more terrorists? Hollande only allowed for “invasive counterterrorist operations” after several devastating jihad massacres, not before. So what caused those jihad massacres? What excuse and method of blaming the West will they come up with to explain that?

These “terrorism experts” are essentially counseling surrender: Don’t fight back, it will only make them angrier.

“France’s terrorism problem divided the country. The election could make it worse,” by Rick Noack, Washington Post, April 23, 2017 (thanks to Darcy):

PARIS — For a few days over the past two years, terrorism helped to unite some parts of French society. Following large-scale attacks, the French rallied behind their deeply unpopular President François Hollande, making his approval ratings repeatedly skyrocket for short time periods.

But the times of political unity are long over.

In Sunday’s first round of the presidential election, following a divisive campaign, French voters will have their choice between 11 candidates and their vastly different approaches to counterterrorism. Even before Thursday’s attack at the Champs-Elysees in which one police officer was killed, a majority of French said in polls that they wanted harsher sentences for terrorists and more powers for security services to prevent attacks.

Sunday’s vote is the first presidential election since the wave of terrorist attacks in France started in early 2015, and two of the four leading candidates are in favor of counterterrorism laws that have been criticized as draconic. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and conservative contender François Fillon have vowed to introduce sweeping legislation to expand police powers if they get elected. Centrist contender Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to increase security measures also attempts to calm the fears of voters, although it remains far less extensive.

Tougher measures might not automatically lead to more safety in France, however. Experts are warning that the opposite could be the case. In reality, a further crackdown on terrorism in the way it has been practiced so far, they say, could end up exposing the country further and making it more vulnerable to attacks.

“Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,” said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.

A Le Pen victory in particular might “lead to a dangerous escalation of the situation in France,” Foley said.

Le Pen has, for example, vowed to proceed with large-scale deportations of Islamists. And following Thursday’s attack, both she and Fillon stated that France was “at war” with radical Islam.

Some say that such harsh rhetoric has only incited sectarian tensions.

“Le Pen’s recent remarks deliver a representation of Islam, which could easily be perceived as incompatible with secular democracy and indirectly play into the hands of radicals,” said Dounia Mahlouly, a French terrorism scholar with the International Center for the Study of Radicalization. The Islamic State and other groups have been trying to isolate Muslims within Western societies for some time to make them more prone to radicalization. Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy….