France is now on high alert following three attacks that happened in the last weeks. However, they may have to do more than that with terror troops in Africa calling on Muslims worldwide to emulate these actions.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al-Shabaab were the two terrorist groups who released messages praising the actions of Islamic terrorists in France. Multiple civilians were killed in the past weeks. This included a knife attack outside the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, the beheading of a teacher and a deadly stabbing spree at a Nice church, BBC reported.
Despite these unfortunate turn of events, AQIM released a statement urging Muslims to stand up to anyone who would insult the prophets of Islam, saying it is the right of every Muslim capable of doing it and that they do not have to ask permission to kill and just do it, the International Christian Concern reported. AQIM is based out of Mali in West Africa and is notorious for the largest and worst perpetrators of terrorist attacks in the region.
Al-Shabaab also issued a statement, saying that Muslims need to continue attacks like the ones that happened in France. Al-Shabaan is one of the three largest and most violent terrorist groups known globally.
With these two terrorist groups backing the recent attacks, a rise in attacks on civilians due to blasphemy could rise moving forward. Both have been known as the worst perpetrators of violence against Christians, meaning the lives of people of faith are at risk. Further, it also raises questions on the freedom of speech.
French President Emmanuel Macron stated that they will not surrender their core values when he visited the Notre-Dame basilica in the southern city. Troops roughly between 3,000 to 7,000 have been deployed to provide added protection to the church and schools.
"If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: freedom, for the possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror,” Macron said. "I say it with great clarity once again today: we won't surrender anything."
In a report from the Associated Press, a young Tunisian man armed with a knife and carrying a copy of the Quran attacked worshippers at a French church. Three were killed in the attack and this triggered the government to raise its security alert to the maximum level hours before a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
It was the third attack in the Mediterranean city of Nice in less than two months. Muslim extremists have been singled out as the ones behind it. They were also tagged as the groups behind the beheading of a teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class that would, later on, be published by a satirical newspaper targeted in a 2015 attack.
The latest attacks come five years after 130 people were killed with 350 wounded when Islamist suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Stade de France stadium, bars and restaurants in central Paris and the Bataclan concert hall, France 24 reported.