IS offshoot active in France too – Macron offers Putin an opportunity

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Despite the upcoming Olympics, France has raised its highest terror alert. Macron is concerned about terrorist attacks in Moscow by IS affiliate ISPK.

PARIS – Four months before the Summer Olympics in Paris, an attack near Moscow has alerted French authorities: the government has declared the highest of three alert levels. Representatives of France's security forces gathered in Paris for an emergency meeting on Monday (March 25). The aim is to take extra precautions, such as increasing bag checks before cultural events or church services.

Macron is adamant: IS branches were also planning attacks in France

On the sidelines of French President Emmanuel Macron's trip to French Guiana, the Afghan branch of the jihadist militia responsible for the attack in Moscow said in recent months it was also plotting attacks in France. At the same time, he warned Moscow against “instrumentalizing” the attack, a sign of the Kremlin's stance of ignoring Islamic State's commitment. To establish contact with Ukraine.

The Islamic State of Khorasan (ISPK), an Afghan branch, is currently considered the “biggest Islamist threat” in Germany. Experts believe he most likely carried out the attack at a concert hall. Western and Russian security services have long monitored the ISPK. “The ISPK is currently the biggest Islamist threat in Germany,” the federal interior minister said Nancy Facer (SPD) ISPK is considered to be the most internationally oriented IS branch. It counts among its members many defectors from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

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Assailants set fire to Crocus City Hall on Moscow's western edge in the terror attack. © Sergei Vedyashkin/Moscow News Agency/AP/dpa

Highest terror alert level in France since October

The highest alert level was used in France last October 2023 until mid-January. It was announced after an Islamist stabbed a teacher in Arras. Under the “Massacre Alert” category, extra patrols will be conducted in front of schools and places of worship. It expands the authorities' powers, for example to close roads or inform people about warning services.

The decision to declare the highest level of alert was taken after a security cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace on Sunday, which Macron also attended.

Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin said on Monday that French police and gendarmerie were ready to ensure security at the Olympics. “France is particularly threatened because it represents universal values ​​and because it supports secularism,” he explained. Security forces are ready for the main event. He pointed out that the attack attempts were continuously repulsed.

Terror attack in Moscow: Islamic State may be responsible

Masked assailants burst into a crowded concert hall and opened fire on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday evening. According to official figures, at least 137 people were killed, including three children. Russian officials have not yet commented on the confessions of Islamic State (IS) jihadist fighters.

The Afghan branch of IS, the jihadist group that claimed responsibility for the attack in Moscow, is, in the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, “responsible for several attacks in recent months” in France. Macron warned against the “instrumentalization” of the event, given the Russian way of linking the attack to Ukraine. “We must guard against any instrumentalization or sabotage,” he said during a visit to French Guiana on Monday.

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Macron offers Putin cooperation against terrorism – French terror shock

Macron offered “enhanced cooperation” to Russia to fight terrorism. The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility shortly after the attack in a suburb of Moscow that killed at least 137 people.

France has long been a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. In particular, in 2015, there was a collective shock in France when the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamic terrorists. Almost the entire faculty died in the attack, twelve in total.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attalum has commented on the terrorist attacks in Moscow. He wrote on the social media site Escalation: Attack Emergency. (aFP/SiSchr)

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