BREAKING NEWS

Now Reading:

Latest attack in France provokes rural, Catholic France, says expert Didier Leroy

brussels bureau

Latest attack in France provokes rural, Catholic France, says expert Didier Leroy

Advertisement

Gregoire Lory
Euronews

France has once again become the victim of a terrorist attack, this time a church has been targeted. To speak about this, Didier Leroy, a researcher at the Belgian Royal Military Academy and the University of Brussels is here with us so thanks to him.

What is the objective, the message behind this latest attack?

Didier Leroy

This attack, unlike the attack that targeted Nice that targeted civilians is very symbolic. A Christian place of worship has been directly targeted. The fact that a priest has been slaughtered will clearly have more of an impact than another type of attack.

Gregoire Lory Euronews

Is this a sign that a religious war has been launched?

Didier Leroy

This is not a religious war that is underway, but it is going that way, it is an attempt to provoke a certain part of France, catholic France., a part of France that has not been targeted yet. This case is really targeting Catholic France, rural France has been struck at its core here. So, in that sense, it is an attempt to try to imitate certain fights that are taking place in the Middle East, in Syria and Iraq.

Gregoire Lory Euronews

What is the strategy of the Islamic State group now?

Didier Leroy

In the last few months, the Islamic State group have lost a number of military battles and thus have lost a significant part of territory in Syria and Iraq. So this is an attempt to preserve their image of “victory” so to say. The group has stepped up attacks abroad in order to maintain its self-importance that contribute to its appeal and helps it attract young recruits from abroad.

Gregoire Lory Euronews

In this war against terrorism, is this not the worst case scenario that is underway with the increase in multiple attacks as we have seen recently?

Didier Leroy

Yes and no – the most feared scenarios would probably be using bacterial or chemical weapons – that would be a real slaughter, I hope we never witness that. However, this is particularly vicious as it concerns hitting places that we do not expect at all. Everyone expects a capital city to be targeted, then we saw medium-sized cities being hit, now we are talking about tiny villages. The pace of attacks has increased but also the geographical area that has to be monitored by police and security forces has expanded. This will exhaust forces and show even more flaws among French authorities.

Gregoire Lory Euronews

So are we seeing a kind of change in strategy of the Islamic State group in the way it operates in Europe?

Didier Leroy

The Islamic State adapts to whatever the scenario, the Islamic State is capable of causing a lot of damage, either in terms of absolute numbers of victims, or in terms of symbolism with very few resources. The Nice attack happened by leasing a truck and the attack that we have seen take place today has been permitted with just knives just so they can carry out an attack with very few resources, and have several casualties.

Gregoire Lory Euronews
Didier Leroy, thank you

Thank you

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

Next Article