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Monday, March 31, 2014 

France taking fight against terrorism to schools

France is trying a new tack in combatting jihadism, though there's still flaws in their approach that need to be avoided:
To stop the stream of French youths pursuing jihad in Syria, France is preparing to try to tackle terrorism before it starts, by involving schools, parents and local Muslim leaders, The Associated Press has learned.

This is part of a still-confidential plan prompted by fears that young radicals who travel to Syria could return home with the skills and motivation to carry out attacks - a Europe-wide concern. French officials say the plan will be made public soon.

The fears resurfaced last week when authorities revealed the discovery near Cannes of three soda cans packed with nails, bolts and explosives plus bomb-making instructions at the apartment of a 23-year-old man who had returned from Syria. Memories are still fresh of a radical Muslim Frenchman who gunned down children at a Toulouse Jewish school in 2012, after training in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

To combat terrorism, France amassed one of the West's toughest legal arsenals following terror attacks in the 1990s, focusing on prosecuting proven extremists instead of trying to prevent radicalization.
While this is welcome and necessary, involving Muslim leaders is still very risky, because they could be deceptive and otherwise sabotage the effort to curb Islamofascism. They're going to have to be careful with that part if they want to lead a convincing effort to stop jihadists from spawning.

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