Resurgence of Violent Actions: France’s Ultra-Right Concerns

Since the spring, we have witnessed a very worrying resurgence of violent actions or intimidation on the part of the ultra-right”, according to Nicolas Lerner

The director general of internal security (DGSI) Nicolas Lerner alerts this Sunday in Le Monde, on “the resurgence” of violent actions of the ultra-right. “Since the spring, we have seen a very worrying resurgence of violent action or intimidation from the ultra-right.”

Nicolas Lerner, head of the DGSI since 2018, recalls in particular the attacks against the mayors of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique), who resigned after the fire at his home, and Callac (Côtes- d’Armor), where the installation of reception centers for asylum seekers (Cada) was strongly contested by the extreme right. Ten ultra-right terrorist attack projects have been foiled since 2017, he recalls.

No “ecoterrorism”

Regarding the movement of the ultra-left, the importation of its “modes of action” on the environmental issue, such as the challenge of mega-basins in Sainte-Soline is also “a subject of concern”, according to him. “The fight against global warming is a legitimate fight, which deserves to be fought with determination. But with the means allowed in democracy”, underlines Nicolas Lerner. He regrets that “this claim constitutes for some a pretext to attack the symbols of the State, the forces of order”.

But he does not use the term “ecoterrorists” from Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, explaining that “no action” of a terrorist nature has been committed in the name of the environmental cause in recent years.

Finally, on the Islamist terrorist risk, the head of the DGSI explains that he is increasingly monitoring “radicalized individuals residing in Europe or Central Asia” invited to take action by “terrorist organizations in Syria and, increasingly more, in Afghanistan”. “This is a phenomenon that we have seen growing since last summer and on which, in close collaboration with the DGSE (External Security), we remain vigilant.

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