Hugo Micheron, a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), has claimed that the rise in jihadist activity in France and Belgium is directly linked to “neglected” enclaves and prisons in the two countries.
Micheron interviewed 80 jihadists in prison and went to several key areas across France and Belgium — such as Toulouse and Paris and the infamous Brussels suburb of Molenbeek — and found links to historic Islamist movements in the areas and the individuals who would go on to wage jihad, L’Obs reports.
“These attacks are the culmination of dynamic actions that have been taking place over the past 15 or 20 years in certain enclaves,” Micheron said.
He went on to specifically highlight the arrival of Islamist preachers in the 1990s from Afghanistan and Algeria in various areas as the catalyst for the trend of Islamic radicalism in those enclaves and neighbourhoods.
French Study: Average Jihadist is Young Under-educated, Petty Criminal Born in Migrant-Heavy Suburbs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 29, 2018
“And the networks are woven: from 2000, 15 years before November 13 [the date of the Paris terror attacks], the Clains have brought preachers from Molenbeek to Toulouse,” he said. The Clain brothers, Fabien and Jean-Michel, are two of the most notorious French Islamic radicals and became senior members of the Islamic State terror group.
Following his death by an airstrike in February of 2019, Fabien Clain was thanked and praised by former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself. His brother Jean-Michel was killed just a month later.
Micheron also noted that French security services did little to stop French jihadists going to Syria to fight for groups like the Islamic State, saying: “We did not anticipate that the ‘caliphate’ would strengthen the links between networks, bring even more departures, returns, and violent actions in France.”
The research is similar to that of French radical Islamic expert Gilles Kepel who told Breitbart London in 2017 that the Islamist movement had moved through three “ages” since the 1970s and that the current age was greatly influenced by the 2005 Paris riots.