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Paris Attack Targets Vel d'Hiv Children's Memorial Garden: A Wake-up Call to France's Persistent Terrorism Threat

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Paris Attack Targets Vel d'Hiv Children's Memorial Garden: A Wake-up Call to France's Persistent Terrorism Threat

In a chilling development, an attack was initiated in Paris, targeting the Vel d'Hiv Children's Memorial Garden located in the city's 15th district. The Vel d'Hiv is a haunting reminder of the 1942 Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, where countless Jewish families were arrested and deported by Nazi authorities with the complicity of French officials. This memorial garden serves as a poignant tribute to the victims of this historical atrocity. The attack not only stands out due to its violent nature but also because it targets a symbol of collective memory.

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The Continuing Threat of Terrorism

Nicolas Lerner, the head of domestic intelligence, provides an insight into how his agency monitors radicalized inmates after their release from prison, the evolution of the jihadist phenomenon, and the impact of Middle East conflicts on France. It's alarming that 73 attacks have been thwarted since 2013, with 43 since 2017, and three attacks being intercepted by the DGSI since March 2023. Lerner emphasizes the renewed threat posed by very young individuals, the persistent entrenchment of jihadist ideology, and the re-emergence of threats linked to external theaters.

An Unchecked Threat

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In a related incident, a man stands accused of fatally stabbing a tourist and injuring two others near the Eiffel Tower. He has been placed under investigation on charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist organization. This raises serious concerns about individuals convicted of terrorism-linked crimes moving freely after serving their sentences.

Factors Contributing to the Threat

According to the head of the DGSI, Nicolas Lerner, three factors contribute to the resurgence of the terrorist threat in France: the persistent anchoring in jihadist ideology, a revitalization of the endogenous movement carried by the very young, and the return of the threat linked to external theaters. This attack in Paris, and the stabbing incident near the Eiffel Tower, are grim reminders of the growing threat of terrorism in the country.

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