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Why always France? The logic behind the surge of islamist terrorist attacks on its territory and possible policy implications
After a long period of peace on the continent, terrorism has brought back the perspective of making the lives of Europeans “nasty, brutish, and short”, as Thomas Hobbes put it. In France and across Europe, terrorism is now one of the main concerns of citizens and policy-makers who have previously focused on more traditional security threats. A recent Pew Research Centre survey found that roughly seven in ten Europeans think ISIS is a major security threat, with 91% of French respondents being worried about the group.
Unfortunately, the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice which killed at least 84 people is merely the last of a long series of deadly Islamist attacks in France. These attacks intensified in the past two years and included the mass shootings at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and Bataclan concert hall. While other European countries have also experienced terrorism, a clear pattern is emerging in France, w