by Dr. Ephraim Herrera
Europol has estimated that as many as 5,000 jihadists made it into Europe in the huge wave of immigration in 2015
The headline that topped France's Le Monde newspaper the day after the murderous attack in Nice read: "84 killed, state of emergency extended by 3 months," with the subtitle "A man driving a truck raced toward the crowd." The headline in newspaper Le Figaro was similar: "How did the police stop the murderer with the truck?" While the fact that it was a terrorist attack was mentioned, no details about the attacker were included -- specifically, that he was a Muslim of Tunisian origin and a French citizen who, like most of the terrorists in last year's attacks in Paris and in the attack at the Brussels Airport, had gone over to the side of the Islamic enemy.
In France, it is not appropriate to mention the very essence of the war that is made explicitly clear in Islamic State group publications. The top headline in one of the group's French-language publications a year ago read: "May Allah curse France!" Islamic State group spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani recently called on Muslims in the West, saying, "If you are able to kill an American or European infidel -- and particularly the malicious and impure French ... then place your trust in Allah, and kill him in any way possible. ... When the infidel is a civilian or a soldier, the ruling is one and the same."
Two days before the terrorist attack in Nice, the French security chief said it was likely that Islamic State loyalists would start using car bombs and that there would be a clashes between the far Right and the Muslim world. He even dared to specify "not the Islamists, but the Muslim world." His words were not echoed in the media, as news outlets were too busy writing about France's big soccer loss.
Research shows that young Muslims in France are more religious, extremist and alienated from the values of the country than are their parents or grandparents. Europol has estimated that as many as 5,000 jihadists made it into Europe in the huge wave of immigration in 2015. It is unlikely that the terrorist attack in Nice will be the last of its kind. But because the French authorities do not want to admit that the root of the problem is militant Islam -- which is being taught inside France, in mosques and in suburbs that have become lawless zones -- there is no real way to fix the problem.
Current efforts -- an increased presence of security forces and increased intelligence-gathering -- will not be enough to fight the system invented by Abu Musab al-Suri, the foremost ideologue of the Islamic State group: lone-wolf attackers who are not formally affiliated with the organization but carry out its tenet of launching attacks that strike fear into the hearts of the infidels. The terrorist in Nice underwent a rapid process of radicalization and implemented Islamic State's ideology without becoming detectable to intelligence agents. And since no one is fighting the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists, many Muslims will continue to watch programs and take in internet resources encouraging jihad, convincing them that they must wipe out the infidel "crusaders" and the Allah-hating Jews.
Before a lecture I gave last year before the Jewish community in Nice, one woman told me, "Don't scare us too much." Those who close their eyes will not see the terrorist in the truck racing toward them.
Dr. Ephraim Herrera is the author of "Jihad -- Fundamentals and Fundamentalism."
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