European military presence necessary in Sahel to prevent terrorism, warns security expert

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
European military presence necessary in Sahel to prevent terrorism, warns security expert
Copyright  Francois Mori/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Europe must maintain a military presence in the Sahel region if it wants to help prevent future terror attacks, according to an intelligence and security expert.

Claude Moniquet a former French intelligence agent told Euronews that despite it not being the best choice politically speaking, keeping European forces in the embattled African region is a necessary evil.

"We made progress after 2001 and then, unfortunately, it took the Madrid attacks, the London attacks. We adapted the legislation, we gave more resources," Moniquet said. "Very clearly, what needs to be done, I believe, is what France and other countries are doing today in the Sahel region.

"Why are we in the Sahel? Very clearly, to keep the threat as far as possible from European borders. It may seem like a dangerous policy, politically and legally questionable, but is a question of security for Europe."

The co-founder and CEO of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) also told Euronews that the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan, 20 years after the occupation, has left a void that could be filled with a number of new terror threats.

But that's not the only risk he added.

"We have two serious risks. The first is to have, but it will be limited, terrorists who will arrive in Europe under cover of refugees, as we had in 2013-2014 from Syria and who made the attacks in Paris and Brussels," Moniquet said.

"And above all, this is a victory for the global jihad. The capture of Kabul by the Taliban was considered a victory. We can see this clearly on social media networks and it could give a new boost to the jihad movement."