Edited by David Martin Jones, Paul Schulte, Carl Ungerer and M. L.R. Smith
Chapter 24: Jihadism and post-9/11 Europe: the French approach to fighting terrorism
Significantly, the French government only started assuming the controversial terminology of a ‘war on terror’ after launching Operation Serval in Mali in 2013. However, France participated in the international coalition in Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda under the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution No. 1386, and has been one of the most active in most of the US-led actions against terrorism since 9/11, while also pursuing its own national counterterrorist agenda, in relation to the recent waves of attacks it suffered on its soil from 2012 to 2018, with a peak in 2015. This quasi-exclusion of 9/11 in France’s counterterrorism state thinking, while being a core partner and actor of counterterrorism in the post-9/11 context, is interesting and raises the question of the French relationship towards 9/11 and how influential this was in modelling its answer to the global terrorist threat. This distinctive French approach will be the focus of this chapter, while assessing the particularities of the French counterterrorism model, with its strength and weaknesses.
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