Islamic Terror Attacks in France and Austria Motivated by Revenge, Says Expert

TOPSHOT - Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Women's Wing, take part in an anti-France demonstration in Karachi on November 3, 2020. (Photo by Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP) (Photo by RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP via Getty Images)

Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp has claimed that the recent terror attacks in France and Austria were motivated by revenge for crackdowns on Islamic radicalism.

Ranstorp, who works as a terrorism researcher at the Swedish Defence University, said that many of the recent attacks could be explained as a reaction to the republishing of the Charlie Hebdo Mohammed cartoons, as well as the governments of France and Austria implementing measures to combat Islamist radicalism.

“It’s about revenge for the caricature crisis and the states’ increased offensive against them. These individuals see themselves as victims and heroes. They go from being nobody and then celebrated in IS [Islamic State] circles,” Ranstorp told broadcaster SVT.

Along with revenge, Ranstorp stated that part of the goal of the attacks was to create divisions within society by increasing tensions between groups.

“Polarisation in society is a consequence of what these people do. Attacks of this kind increase Muslim hatred and xenophobia against various immigrant communities. It will be easier for them to attract people who have been subjected to such things to start sympathising with IS,” he said.

“Islamist separatism wants to create a parallel social order that goes against our values and governance. What, among other things, that gives the movement oxygen is the segregation that already exists in some residential areas where the Islamists fill a void,” he added.

In the last three weeks, France has seen two terrorist attacks, both the murder of teacher Samuel Paty and the Nice attack in which three people were murdered in a church.

Earlier this week, a terrorist in Vienna gunned down two men and two women and injured another 17 people in the historic centre of the city.

It was later revealed that the gunman, Kujtim F., was an Islamic State sympathiser. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019 for trying to join the terror group in Syria, but only served eight months behind bars.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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