Why was France attacked again and singled out by ISIS?
Regardless of the motives, it seems France will remain under attack for the foreseeable future
On July 14 - Bastille Day, the most celebrated day in France - the city of Nice suffered a bloody and cowardly attack aimed at killing and injuring civilians who gathered to celebrate. It is still unclear whether the attack was planned by or linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or if it was the work of a lone wolf who seemed to be known to local police as a violent Tunisian resident in France.
Regardless of the motives, it seems France will remain under attack for the foreseeable future. In saying that, however, French authorities have dramatically improved their measures to defend the country against terror. They continue to foil potential attacks and investigate more thoroughly young French and non-French residents with links to ISIS.
The authorities have successfully organized major international events, namely the Cannes film festival and the Euro 2016 football tournament, which took place in several French cities simultaneously with hundreds of thousands in attendance daily.
However, France seems more susceptible to terrorism than any other European country, and other nations that are party to the international military coalition battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Ironically, ISIS has attacked France several times despite the country only carrying out a fraction of attacks compared to other coalition members. Russia and Iran have been openly sending planes, troops and military hardware against ISIS, yet it seems the group does not see targeting either country as a priority.
France’s short-term fate is to continue showing resilience and promoting faith instead of fear. President Francois Holland says France is attacked for the values and liberties it has promised to uphold for centuries. I would add that it is attacked for all the good causes it stands up for, including Ukraine, Syria, Palestine and Yemen.
Ironically, ISIS has attacked France several times despite the country only carrying out a fraction of attacks compared to other coalition membersMohammed Chebarro
The attacks in Nice, and against Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan theater, are likely to echo dangerously in multicultural France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe. Liberties are likely to suffer.
French Muslims, including those of North African origin, are again under the spotlight. Whether they like it or not, terrorism is committed in the name of their faith, and delivered by a small minority of criminals who live within those communities, bent on spoiling it for everyone.
French Muslims are looked upon to start weeding out those violent extremists before it is too late, in a Europe where the extreme right and racist supremacists, allied indirectly with ISIS, would win elections and introduce drastic measures that would destroy what is left of decades-old European liberties and values.
Mohamed Chebarro is currently an Al Arabiya TV News Program Editor. He is also an award winning journalist, roving war reporter and commentator. He covered most regional conflicts in the 90s for MBC news and later headed Al Arabiya’s bureau in Beirut and London.