“We Have Entered A Time of Home-Grown Terrorism”

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“We Have Entered A Time of Home-Grown Terrorism”

"We have entered a (time of) terrorism made in France... with a mixture of Friday preaching by extremist imams, social networks and the weaponisation of fragile individuals. It is about creating a new panic in society by targeting iconic ... places... The attack is a major turning point in Islamist terrorism."

This is the stark warning following the murder of four police officers by an Islamised colleague on October 3rd. "The interior of the Paris police headquarters is supposed to be a stronghold; it is the symbol of public order in France and of the anti-jihadist struggle that has been shaken," the French scholar Gilles Kepel went on to tell Le Figaro.

The assailant, Mickaël Harpon, born in the French Caribbean island of Martinique, was shot and killed after stabbing four people to death with a ceramic kitchen knife during the lunchtime assault at the Paris police headquarters. Harpon, a civilian IT specialist in the intelligence division holding high-level security clearance, had worked for the police for 16 years. First he killed three men in the intelligence division, then he stabbed two female police employees in a stairwell (one died from her wounds) before he finally was shot and killed in the building's courtyard.

In 2016, Patrick Calvar, France's director general of domestic intelligence -- pointing to the number of Salafists active in France (15,000 at the time) -- declared that "the confrontation is inevitable". Now one of them has struck "the system" from within.

"How has a multitude of Islamist networks managed to create ideological enclaves inside popular neighbourhoods?" asks the author Bernard Rougier in Les territoires conquis de l'islamisme ("The conquered Territories of Islamism").

According to the French journalist Eric Zemmour: "In the street, veiled women and men wearing jellabas are de facto propaganda, an Islamization of the street, just as the uniforms of an occupying army remind the defeated of their submission.

For the bygone triptych of 'immigration, integration, assimilation' has been substituted 'invasion, colonization, occupation.'"

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