Wednesday, October 01, 2014

France’s premier steers a vigilant course on Islamist extremism

By Jim Hoagland September 29, WashPost

Jim Hoagland is a Post contributing editor and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

PARIS — The European countries that have joined the U.S. air war on Islamic terrorists fight in a spirit of allied unity. But they are also driven by a mounting fear that their citizens who have fought for the jihadists in Syria and Iraq may soon return home to form an “enemy within” and mount a European 9/11.

Manuel Valls, the tough-minded French prime minister, sums up his nation’s existing security concerns this way: “We have no indication of a planned attack on French soil. But we have to be vigilant every day against the development of an enemy within.”

My conversation with the prime minister came a few days before terrorists in Algeria beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel in a self-proclaimed act of solidarity with the Islamic State. Valls has long watched with mounting concern the growth of European involvement in what President Obama last week labeled a “network of death.”

(More here.)

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