Professor Gilles Kepel, from the Sciences Po in Paris, France, said a growing ‘Jihad Generation’ is likely to continue to carry out terror acts in European cities.
The scholar of Islam has warned of civil war across Europe as more young Muslims facing poor job prospects turn to radical groups, it has been reported.
The aim of their terror activity is to both incite hatred towards Muslims and, in doing so, cause further radicalization among young people, the professor of political science said.
He told the German newspaper Die Welt that this in turn could lead to the point where Europe enters into civil war. Kepel said the recent terror attacks across the continent were part of a war within Islam rather than between Islam and Western civilization. The extremists, he said, also want to crush more moderate Islamic opposition.
After civil war had ruined Europe, he said, the long term goal of the terrorists would then be to build a caliphate ‘on the ruins of the old continent’.
Kepel said that while most Muslims were not involved in any terror-related activity, a lack of job prospects and their feeling of hopelessness in French suburbs could boost the likelihood of young Muslims becoming radicalized.
He believes their strategy is similar to the expansion of Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, and Libya where the terrorist organization was able to use the chaos of civil war to slowly build its forces, grow in power, and rapidly seize territory.
His comments come with Europe still on edge following a wave of terror attacks in recent months. Last night, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that ‘every day attacks are foiled … (including) as we speak.’
Valls said nearly 15,000 people in France are being tracked because they are suspected of being in the process of radicalization, while 1,350 are under investigation – 293 of them for alleged links with a terrorism network.
‘Today the threat is at a maximum, and we are a target,’ Valls said on Europe 1 radio. ‘Every day intelligence services, police foil attacks, dismantle networks, track terrorists.’
Despite the tracking, with plots uncovered, ‘There will be new attacks. There will be innocent victims,’ the prime minister said.