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Terrorism in France: New and Old Trends in Jihadism

Terrorism in France: New and Old Trends in Jihadism

Date and time: November 9, 2020, 10 am Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)

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Five years after terrorists targeted Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher, and Bataclan, France faces a new string of jihadist attacks. Recent murders in Paris and Nice occurred against the backdrop of President Macron’s major speech about fighting Islamism domestically. In addition to his remarks, the issue of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad has once again become a subject of international controversy, spurring protests outside French embassies and fierce statements by leaders in Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and elsewhere.

What do the context and features of the recent attacks say about the broader evolution of jihadism since the Islamic State’s territorial defeat in 2019? Were the incidents unique to specific circumstances or do they portend a new trend in international jihadist violence? To discuss these and other questions, The Washington Institute is pleased to announce a virtual Policy Forum with Laurence Bindner, Hugo Micheron, and Aaron Zelin.

Laurence Bindner is the cofounder of JOS Project, an associate fellow with GNet, and a member of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Global Research Network. This year, she also served as an auditor in defense policy at the French Institute for Higher National Defense Studies (IHEDN).

Hugo Micheron is a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Institute for Transregional Studies. His dissertation Le jihadisme francais was based on surveys in French and Belgian neighborhoods affected by jihadist recruitment, interviews with convicted “returnees,” and fieldwork in Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey. He is currently completing a quantitative study on interactions between distinct online Islamist communities.

Aaron Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at The Washington Institute and a visiting research scholar at Brandeis University. In addition to publishing the recent book Your Sons Are at Your Service: Tunisia’s Missionaries of Jihad, he founded the widely cited website and its podcast, JihadPod. He holds a Ph.D. from King’s College London.

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