French authorities probe Corsican nationalist group's terrorism claims

French gendarmes inspect a damaged private property in Corcisa defaced with graffiti reading "For Yvan - FLNC".
French gendarmes inspect a damaged private property in Corcisa defaced with graffiti reading "For Yvan - FLNC". Copyright AFP
By Euronews with AFP
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The FLNC says it carried out multiple attacks on the Mediterranean island, which has seen an uptick in nationalist-linked violence this year.


France's national anti-terrorist prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation following the publication on Tuesday of a communiqué from the Corsican National Liberation Front (FLNC) which claimed responsibility for 16 attacks.

The investigation was opened for "criminal conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism", according to a judicial source.

In a four-page press release sent to Coriscan daily newspaper Corse-Matin and consulted by AFP, the clandestine group claims to have carried out 13 attacks against residences, one against a vehicle belonging to a "CRS officer", and two against bank branches: Société Générale in Corte in May 2023, and Crédit Agricole in Folleli in December 2021.

The FLNC refers to the island's political status as "a disproportionate colonisation of the population" and a "process of destruction of the Corsican people" that is "not yet irreversible" – and calls "as quickly as possible" on Corsicans to "help in the struggle" through "acts of resistance".

The group threatens artisans, construction and public works companies, "speculators and all those who enrich themselves on the back of our extinction", addressing in particular the "complicit Corsicans" who "will have to give an account" for "having sold their land, and therefore their soul, to the highest bidders".

The FLNC also denigrates the negotiations currently underway between Paris and Corsican elected representatives, arguing that they will only lead, "at best", to "further decentralisation".

The FLNC's last communiqué claiming responsibility for the attacks was issued on 21 March, the anniversary of the death of pro-independence militant Yvan Colonna, who died following an attack in prison. A total of 17 attacks had been claimed.

Fire island

Corsica is currently experiencing an upsurge in arson attacks, mainly on second homes, with nationalists often thought to be behind them.

According to the judicial source, 50 investigations "linked to arson or acts of destruction of various kinds" in Corsica have been opened by the national authorities since the beginning of the year.

There were 22 in 2022, three in 2021 and four in 2020.

"Fourteen judicial inquiries are currently underway in Corsican terrorist cases" by the anti-terrorist unit of the Paris judicial court, the same source said.

One of these investigations concerns the Ghjuventu Clandestina Corsa, or Corsican underground youth movement, with at least five people under investigation.

The radical group announced its creation at the beginning of February, and has claimed responsibility for destroying houses.

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