E D I T O
January 7th and 9th, 2021 marked the sixth anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks which cost the lives of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists, and savagely murdered 4 innocent people during the hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher in Paris.
On October 16th, 2020, Samuel Paty, history and geography teacher, was beheaded in the street by an Islamist for showing his students cartoons from the satirical newspaper depicting the Prophet Muhammad. This abominable assassination forces us to soul searching. It is indeed the disastrous revelation of the fracturing of our democratic pact and casts a harsh light on the hegemonic project of radical Islamism.
More generally, Europe has faced a series of terror attacks on its soil during 2020, prompting the European Union to pledge a crackdown on extremism. The numerous terror attacks in France led French President Emmanuel Macron to unveil a new anti-radicalism plan. Also the UK, Germany and Austria were hit. The fight is not over. We need to address the challenges, discuss the tools to fight radicalization, and strengthen cooperation.
Against this background, ELNET created, with the participation of former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the "European Summit on Islamist Radicalization and Terrorist Threat". The first session of the Summit took place on 11 January and brought together leading French and European political decision-makers and academics to discuss freedom of expression, French-style secularism, “Islamist separatism”, and Islamism as a pan-European political crisis.
By bringing together a Franco-European panel of political decision-makers and renowned academics, it aimed to address the issues of separatism, freedom of expression, French secularism but also of Islamism as a pan-European crisis.
As announced, the second session of this European Summit will take place on March 22nd, 2021 and will be dedicated to “The State of the Terrorist Threat in Europe”. 22 March coincides with the commemoration of the 9th anniversary of the first jihadist attacks of the 2000s in Toulouse and Montauban in France on 11, 15 and 19 March 2012.
This European summit is intended to be held annually. It is designed to offer an unprecedented platform for high-level informal discussions and to bring leading politicians and experts from all over Europe and the Arab and Muslim world together. By sharing analysis and expertise, it aims to provide a better understanding of the radical Islamist movement, its historical and geopolitical roots, its components and its nuisance power, as well as the terrorist threat that Europe faces, in order to fight it better.
Arié Bensemhoun, CEO, ELNET France
Laurent Bigorgne, Director, Montaigne Institute
Manuel Valls, former French Prime Minister
The State of the Terrorist Threat in Europe
Laurent Nuñez, Head of the National Center for Counter-terrorism (France)
Interview by Christophe Ayad, Reporter, in charge of the terrorism column, Le Monde
Sinan Selen, Vice President, Domestic Intelligence Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (BfV)
Interview by Daniel-Dylan Böhmer, Senior Editor, Die Welt (Germany)
ROUNDTABLE : WHO ARE THE EUROPEAN JIHADISTS?
David Khalfa, Program Director, ELNET France
• Boaz Ganor (Israel), Founder and Executive Director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Former Dean of the Lauder School of Government and Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya)
• Hakim El-Karoui (France), Writer and Consultant, Senior Fellow at the Montaigne Institute
• Anne-Clémentine Larroque (France), Historian, Expert on Islamism (Sciences Po Paris and CEDEJ, Cairo), Analyst at the Department of Justice
• Seran de Leede (Netherlands), Historian, Specialist of female jihadism, Associate Fellow at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT, The Hague)
• Shiraz Maher (UK), Historian, Director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) at King's College London
• Peter Neumann (Germany), Professor of Security Studies at the War Studies Department of King's College London, former Director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR)
• Pieter Van Ostaeyen (Belgium), Historian and Arabist, PhD Candidate at Catholic University of Leuven, Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, Member of the editorial board at International Center for Counter- Terrorism (The Hague)
Moderated by Gauthier Rybinski, Senior Editor for international affairs, France 24
How to improve European Coordination in the Fight against Terrorism?
Gilles de Kerchove, European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator
Interview by Teri Schultz, Freelance Reporter and Correspondent for European affairs, National Public Radio (United States), Deutsche Welle (Germany)