France faces uphill anti-terror struggle: Experts Published: 2016/7/15 14:45:24

Lack of funds, mass immigration, and the French tradition of prioritizing personal liberty each complicate the fight against terror, say experts following the terrorist attack in Nice, on July 14.

France, and indeed the whole of Europe, is investing far less in anti-terror measures than required, Li Wei, associate chief of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times. “France only commits $600 million to $700 million in counter-terrorism funds, far less than the US figure of $47 billion. This underfunding has heavily restricted its ability to prevent future attacks,” said Li.

Increased immigration to France will also influence counter-terrorism initiatives, complicating the task of containing domestic extremism, said Ding Chun, director of the Europe Research Center at Fudan University.

The French people’s desire for freedom also limits the effectiveness of their anti-terror activities, Ding said. As the government cracks down harder against terrorism, revenge attacks become an increasing concern. Given this reality, “France must get its priorities in order, weighing freedom, privacy and security,” said Ding.

However, Li cautions that even an increase in anti-terror measures might not lower the frequency of attacks, as Europe and the US will remain obvious targets for future violence irrespective of their counter-terrorism policies. 

The death toll in Nice has climbed to 80, with two Chinese nationals injured in the attack. 

Earlier, in November 2015, multiple shootings and explosions hit central Paris, killing at least 120 people and injuring 200.

In January 2015, two armed men stormed into the headquarters of the weekly Charlie Hebdo, killing at least 12 people, including two policemen. 

Posted in: Europe

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