'Sunni terrorism' biggest threat to Europe': French interior minister

Ahram Online , AFP , Saturday 20 May 2023

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin declared that "sunni terrorism" is the most significant threat to France and Europe, during his visit to the US on Friday.

Gerald Darmanin
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin speaks during an interview with AFP at the French Consulate in New York City on May 19, 2023. AFP


"We have come to remind them that for Europeans, and for France, the primary risk is Sunni terrorism and that anti-terrorist collaboration between intelligence services is absolutely essential," Darmanin said im a interview with AFP during his visit to New York.

Darmanin met with US officials and visited the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) training facility in New York to discuss ways to strengthen police and judicial cooperation between France and the United States regarding counterterrorism and major crimes.

He added that "at a time when the Americans maybe have a more domestic vision of challenges -- white supremacy, repeated shootings, conspiracy -- they must not forget what appears to us in Europe as the first threat: Sunni terrorism." He didn't provide details on such threats.

Darmanin also discussed security measures for major events, including the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and the visit of Pope Francis to Marseille.

He expressed regret over the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan and France's withdrawal from the Sahel region of Africa.

The French minister warned of the resurgence of ISIS cells in the Middle East, making these external threats major risks for potential terrorist attacks in France.

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