Tag Archives: Jean-Charles Brisard

EU offers condolences to Sri Lanka

“A series of coordinated attacks hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka this morning, causing extreme devastation. With men, women and children, from all walks of life and from different nationalities among the victims, this is a truly sad day for the country and for the world” says the statement of the EU top diplomat Federcia Mogherini.

“The European Union offers its most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have been killed and wishes a speedy recovery to the many wounded.
“Easter Sunday is a special moment for Christians around the world. It is a time to give thanks, for remembrance, celebration, and peaceful prayer. Such acts of violence on this Holy Day are acts of violence against all beliefs and denominations, and against all those who value the freedom of religion and the choice to worship. 
“The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan authorities at this difficult time. The European Union is also ready to offer support.”

AMENDED:

Seven suspects were arrested later in the afternoon, Sri Lanka‘s defense minister said.  However there were no immediate claims of responsibility.

AFP news agency reports that Sri Lanka‘s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches“.

A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the alert said.

The NTJ is Sri Lanka radical Muslim group that was linked last year to the vandalism of Buddhist statues.

AMENDED

An unprecedented wave of strikes since the end of the civil war in 2009, which occurred in the context of the excessive ethnic and religious violence. More than 100 kg of explosives were found in January”, writes French leading expert in terrorism Jean-Charles Brisard. 

Brisard: monitoring radicalised is not a solution

Between 60 000 and 70 000 radicalised individuals are detected by the relevant authorities in the EU, according to the report presented to the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) by Jean-Charles Brisard, the head of the Centre the Analysis of Terrorism (CAT).

At heart of problem of defeating of radicalisation in Europe  is an  absence of unified approach towards terrorism, while some member-states say they don’t see it as priority, but it is wrong, their countries can be used by terrorists, even if the problem does not manifest itself – Brisard said. However he warned against a simplistic approach to radical Islam: it is easy to throw everyone in one port, but reality is complex, for example salafites reject jihadism, these factors should not be omitted, Brisard continued. The other difficulty in defeating of radicalisation is its method: the terrorist organisations promote a model that can be joined in many ways, and places – nowadays it is not necessary to come to Caliphate, one can serve ISIS  in Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, or in Europe. Reaching Europe was not an original purpose of ISIS, initially they invited all the good Mahomedans to come to construct the Caliphate, but later they saw an opportunity to infiltrate with migrant flows, although it was not their initial strategy. Brisard also warned against demonisation of Islam, claiming that the radicals are marginal cases, while the overwhelming majority of Muslims are living their lives aligned with democratic values in European societies.

During Q&A session the MEPs focused on the ways, and methods the radicalisation can be defeated, and the possibility of contribution on the EU level, they also reflected on the huge figures of already detected individuals under surveillance, expressing concerns about their chances to switch to actions.  Former MEP, and leader of group France Insoumise in Assemblée Nationale Jean-Luc Mélenchon pointed out that there are already more jihadists in Europe, than military in Belgium army, the situation representing grave security concerns.

In his intervention MEP Geoffrey van Orden (UK, ECR) underlined that there is a cleavage between left and right in perspectives of dealing with Islam and its radical form, the obvious difference in political concepts does not allow to build common EU approach to radicalisation.

Responding to MEPs Brisard clarified that monitoring of the radicals in the EU is not a solution, because half of the individuals who committed terrorist acts were unknown to police, and had ‘virgin’ record. However there are local communities, who can play a crucial role in defeating radicalisation.

The counterterrorism can’t be limited to running dossiers on radicals, Brisard underscored, the dossiers and monitoring do not prevent the terrorist acts, they are just markers, the ‘tools’ for the services, ‘nothing more than that’. The essential fight against terrorism and radicalisation lies close to the threat in analysing the situations in proximity. Brisard also added that local communities are crucial allies in prevention of radicalisation of youth.