Radical Islam, Not ‘White Supremacism’, Is the Biggest Terrorism Threat in Europe, French Minister Declares

French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower on January 8, 2015 in Paris as the cap
BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images

Radical Sunni Islam is the single biggest terrorism threat facing Europe, a senior French minister has reaffirmed.

Gérald Darmanin, France’s Minister of the Interior, has declared that radical Sunni Islam is the single biggest terror threat facing Europe.

The minister made the claim ahead during a visit to the United States to discuss plans for the Paris Olympics next year, emphasising that the sports tournament posed a significant security challenge for his nation.

During an interview with the AFP, Darmanin said that he urged authorities in the U.S. to tighten their security relationship with France, with the minister saying that collaboration between French and American intelligence would be an essential part of keeping people safe.

He also added that the U.S. needed to understand that it was radical Islam, not some sort of far-right ideology, that posed the largest terror risk to the games.

“We have come to remind them that for Europeans and for France, the primary risk is Sunni Islamist terrorism and that anti-terrorist collaboration between intelligence services is absolutely essential,” Darmanin explained.

“[A]t a time when the Americans perhaps have a more national view of disputes — white supremacism, repeated shootings, conspiracy — they must not forget what appears to us in Europe as the first threat: Sunni terrorism,” he went on to say.

The minister went on to explain that he was concerned about a re-emergence of a significant Islamist terror threat in Europe in the coming months and years, citing Western withdrawals from Afghanistan and the Sahel region of Africa as giving radical Muslims in the region space to breathe.

Likely contributing to Darmanin’s fears is the sudden surge of mass migration into Europe, with many Western nations seeing near-record numbers of boat migrants arrive on their shores in recent months.

Over 26,000 migrants arrived on the shores of Italy in the first three months of this year, alone, eclipsing even the number of arrivals seen at the height of the previous migrant crisis in 2015 and 2016.

This previous crisis coincided with a spate of deadly terror attacks in France, the most infamous of which being the Bataclan attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

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