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MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. For preventing tragedies like those that shook Paris, Europe and the world in the first days of January all people of goodwill must arrive at the conclusion there is a need for broad international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism the Islamic State embodies these days, Russia’s leading expert on Islam, head of the Institute of Religion and Politics, Alexander Ignatenko, told TASS.
“In order to resist terrorism it is necessary to arrange for international cooperation by law enforcement agencies, secret services of all states concerned, including the Arab countries, mostly Syria. But instead of supporting Syria’s president Bashar Assad in his struggle with IS terrorists the leaders of the West, including France, have been pressing for his removal from office,” said Ignatenko, a member of the presidential council for relations with religious organizations.
“The European Union prefers to follow in the United States’ footsteps and never derive lessons from the events that have taken place over the past decade in Iraq and Libya and that are now underway in Syria. True, both Iraq and Libya had not very pleasant ruling regimes, although they guaranteed their peoples a rather high standard of living and stability. But the West preferred to kill Saddam Hussein and Muamar Gaddafi, thereby triggering the emergence of the Islamic State. The IS is a global threat to humanity. The international community must present a common front to ward off that threat,” Ignatenko said.
“The shooting of twelve journalists at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo by the Kouachi brothers, just as the killing of a woman police and of four customers at a kosher supermarket by Amedi Kulibali - all these attacks were carried out on behalf of the Islamic State. Inside the automobile that the Kouchi brothers used to escape from the crime scene an Islamic State flag was found. Before attacking the supermarket Kulibali recorded a video in which he took an oath of allegiance to that quasi-state in front of the IS flag,” the analyst said.
“It is noteworthy that the IS flag has been used in France relatively legally for years. Also, there is a whole chain of the organization calling itself Shariah pour la France (Sharia for France). These offices are engaged in the propaganda and recruitment of young people for the IS. Their chiefs convert young Muslims to a very special form of religion, a very specific variety of Islam, and dispatch the new converts to Syria and Iraq, where the IS expansion is underway,” Ignatenko said.
“These days alone some eight thousand French citizens are fighting for IS in the territory of Syria. I would like to specifically point out that they went to Syria with their families, with their wives and children, some of them very little kids. These children having both Arab and European facial features attend special schools for ‘Caliphate cubs’, where children are trained to be future suicide militants called shahids (martyrs). Just recently a ten-year-girl, a student of one of such schools, staged a terrorist attack in Nigeria. It is a big problem that France and the other EU countries will soon encounter, because under the law these children, when they return home, cannot be put in jail as potential terrorists,” Ignatenko said.
“The measures some European politicians have proposed after the Paris tragedy, such as restoring border guard control between the EU countries and tightening migration legislation, are possibly necessary but already belated. Al-Qaeda’s branches have been operating in Europe for the past two or three years now. That’s when the measures against potential dens of terrorism should have been taken. As for the measures being discussed today they are nothing but what the French call ‘staircase wit’,” Ignatenko said.
“These days we are discussing the French tragedy because it is on everybody’s tongue. But the IS outlets are scattered around the world. They exist not only in Libya, Nigeria, Yemen and Egypt, but also in Germany, Britain and Spain. In Russia, there is the so-called Imarat Kavkaz (Caucasus Emirate). The leaders of all these groups take an oath of loyalty to the IS, which should make all people of goodwill present a common front against the common threat of Islamic terrorism,” Ignatenko said.
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