About Those French No-Go Zones…

In February of this year the Mayor of France Anne Hidalgo announced that the “City of Lights” would sue the right-leaning cable news channel Fox News for its depiction of so-called “No-Go Zones” in the French capital. That move came after a firestorm of controversy broke out over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal invoking the term during a discussion of Islamic terrorism and related threats facing Europe at the Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank. Numerous liberal media outlets attempt to portray the existence of such zones, as false, and those who raised concerns about them, like Governor Jindal, as scare-mongers or Islamophobic.

Now, it appears, it is not Paris, but Governor Jindal, who may be owed an apology.

According to a story appearing in the British Telegraph, and Daily Mail, a French intelligence source warns that French security forces are preparing contingency plans for the “reappropriation of national territory”, meaning using force to reestablish control over largely urban areas dominated by predominately Muslim immigrants, some of them heavily armed with weapons flowing in from the Balkans and Libya:

There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely,” the source said.

“The idea that attacks like the one on the train are carried out by individuals acting on their own is not credible. We’re dealing with highly-organised networks of militant Islamists embarked on a campaign of violence and determined to intensify it.”

Kalashnikov automatic rifles — used by the train gunman and Islamist terrorists who killed 17 people in Paris in January — and anti-tank missiles are now obtainable in France. Many were smuggled in from the former Yugoslavia after the Balkan wars in the 1990s. More weapons have come in from Libya, the sources said, adding that organised crime and terrorist groups were working together to procure them.

French intelligence officials go on to say that surveillance capabilities have been stretched to the breaking point and named several cases where only good fortune prevented a large scale casualty attack, and warn that a “French 9/11” may be on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Spanish officials warn that as many as 800 jihadists may be entering Europe disguised among the flow of thousands of illegal migrants streaming across the Mediterranean from Libya, or across Eastern European borders.

Similar sentiments have been expressed in the United States by FBI Director James Comey, who warned of “thousands” of potential Islamic State supporters operating in the United States, overwhelming U.S. law enforcement analysts. The FBI and counterterror officials have likewise warned Congress they have no way to vet the over 2,000 refugees proposed for admission to the United States from Syria.

There is a fundamental disconnect between the seriousness of the threat, and the way it has been addressed by much of the elite media. So while journalists are openly mocking those who warn of No-Go Zones operating in Europe, the French military is drawing up urban counter-insurgency plans. Barrels of ink have been expended discussing the misleadingly described “lone wolves”, treating the terror threat as one posed by unidentifiable social media-obsessed losers; meanwhile French intelligence officials cut to the heart of the matter, the threat is of “highly-organised networks of militant Islamists.”  Yet when offered evidence of such networks behind recent U.S. terror threats, the U.S. press has largely chosen to ignore them.

While France is both geographically closer, and further advanced in its prognosis, the threat to the U.S. is the same. Unless we wish to prepare our own “reappropriation of national territory” plans in coming decades, we should begin to take this threat far more seriously.

About Kyle Shideler

Kyle Shideler is the Director and Senior Analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Shideler specializes in Islamist groups operating in the United States, having spent over a decade researching and writing on their history, doctrine, and impact. Read his complete bio here. Follow Shideler on Twitter at @ShidelerK.