60 percent rise in number of French radicals in two years – report

60 percent rise in number of French radicals in two years – report
The number of radicals in France has gone up 60 percent over the last two years, with converts to Islam accounting for over 34 percent of the identified radicals, according to a report.

Citing the Terrorism Prevention and Radicalization Reporting File (FSPRT), Le Figaro reports that 18,550 people are currently registered by the authorities as potential radicals, up from 11,400 in 2015, “The file is constantly evolving,” with individuals coming and going after being evaluated by various government departments, the newspaper said.

In addition to the usual information (name, place of residence, criminal record), this database, access to which is restricted, adds more sensitive elements (such as possible contacts with other radicals), according to Le Figaro.

According to the FSPRT, female radicals accounted for 26 percent of the cases; minors slightly more than 16 percent. Converts to Islam accounted for over 34 percent of the identified radicals.

“The FSPRT provides a global picture of radicalization in France, both geographically (with a strong presence [of radicals] in the departments of Île-de-France, the North, the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Rhône And the Alpes-Maritimes) as well as demographically,” Le Figaro reported.

On August 6, a man carrying a knife and reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar” tried to force his way through security checks at the Eiffel Tower. French prosecutors launched a counterterrorism investigation. 

France has been in a state of emergency following attacks in Paris in November 2015 which saw over 130 people killed. The measure has given police and administrative authorities more power.

“The terrorist threat remains very high,” French Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb told Le Journal du Dimanche earlier this month.

“The Champs-Elysees has been targeted twice, and our services have foiled seven attacks attempts since the beginning of the year,” he said.