The PJ Tatler

French Foreign Minister: Having to Watch People Coming Back from Caliphate 'Radically New' Challenge

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the world needs to take notice of the Charlie Hebdo attack for the change in method to targeted assassinations coupled with the pattern of immigration in the country.

“But what is sure is that the way in which this attack was organized and perpetrated shows that there’s a complete change in terrorist methods because not only what we know is that those persons are French nationals, but also that attack was targeted. They wanted to target journalists, in particular the attacks were often committed by foreign people and they were what one would call blind attacks. And yet these were targeted,” Fabius told CNN International.

“And this change is something that can be looked at together with another change, not just in France, but in other countries, too, in other relation, that is to say that we have many people who originate from Europe but they may originate from Asia or America or South America, who are — have connections with the terrorists’ operations in Syria and Iraq,” he added.

Fabius said they’ve counted about 1,000 people who have come back from Syria and Iraq, including 30 percent women, 30 percent young people and 20 percent people who have converted to Islam. “That is radically new,” he said.

Still, the foreign minister said the attacks are “the contrary of Islam.”

“They want to make divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims. And we need to have the reverse reaction, that is to say face with their will to — their wish to make us afraid. We need to be united,” he said.

“…Press freedom is a sacred principle. There is no democracy without freedom; there’s no freedom without freedom of the press. That does not mean that you always like what you read and maybe Charlie Hebdo sometimes has been provocative. That is their raison d’etre. But there are laws. If we’re not satisfied with what’s in the press, the United States and Great Britain or in France, there are possibilities to go to court.”

Fabius stressed it “is a time to reflect why these terrorists struck.”

“They struck because of what France is, what she is and what she does,” he said. “France is a country of freedom.”