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TERRORISM IN FRANCE IN 2021


By Alexandre Rodde - OVERVIEW OF THE FRENCH EXTREMIST MOVEMENTS


The year 2021 saw the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting the organization and functioning of the French society.

The implementation of strict sanitary measures such as lockdowns, curfews, and the sanitary pass have helped to slow down the spread of the virus and the number of deaths caused by it. Nevertheless, the magnitude and unprecedented nature of this crisis has had an impact on public safety.


Some violent crimes, especially domestic violence, have increased.

Thus, at the beginning of June, the Minister of the Interior had noted in a telegram sent to the prefects and the internal security forces that "since the beginning of the year, we have witnessed the development of extremely violent acts" and that these were "probably linked to the consequences of the health crisis from which our country is emerging". He had also specified that "the analysis made by the central services of the Ministry of the Interior highlights in particular a progression of 20 % of the facts of domestic violence (first five months of the year 2021 compared to the same period in 2020)", as well as a "multiplication of serious facts of domestic violence (homicides and attempts of homicides)


1. The number of operations carried out by the RAID and the GIGN (French law-enforcement elite intervention teams) against entrenched suspects had also increased significantly (+137 % compared to the same period the previous year) during the

first five months of the year. Among the threats affected by the health crisis, the terrorist threat must be taken into account. Indeed, each of the extremist movements active in France has reacted to the situation through a different ideological prism, as was already observed in spring 20202.


The uncertainty, the unprecedented measures and the rapid changes that characterize the period have allowed them to develop specific propaganda and arguments in order to take advantage of the prevailing disorder. On the national territory, the jihadist movement remains the main threat, due to its prevalence, sophistication and lethality (I).

The ultra-left, because of its significant operational activity, constitutes a serious security problem (II), as does the ultra-right, whose supporters have been arrested in large numbers this year (III).


A detailed analysis of their activities and of the trends that have been observed over the last twelve months can help to prevent and anticipate the terrorist threat for 2022.


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Lieutenant Gendarme

Secretary General

IPO Section France



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