'The modus operandi of this attack is similar to what the IS group preaches'
Date created : Latest update :
A gunman who pledged allegiance to the IS group killed three people in southwestern France on Friday. Nikita Malik, from the Centre for Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism in London, analyses the latest attack on French soil.
The 26-year-old gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar" before security forces stormed the building and killed him, authorities said. Sixteen other people were wounded, including two seriously, in what French President Emmanuel Macron called an act of "Islamist terrorism".
According to French prosecutor François Molins, the attacker, identified as Redouane Lakdim, was being monitored as he was known to security services for his links to radical Islam.
France 24 spoke with Nikita Malik, director of the Centre for Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism in London.
France 24: How is it possible that the police were aware that Ladkim was radicalised and yet he was not higher up the terror watch list?
Nikita Malik: I think it raises some questions but, sadly, it is just a reflection of the scale of the problem we are dealing with now in Europe. In the United Kingdom, we have 20,000 individuals on a watch list and we simply do not have enough authority and enough resources to be able to monitor these people on a 24-hour basis. So we have to categorise the level of their threat.
France 24: Is the claim of Ladkim's links to the Islamic State group credible?
Nikita Malik: The modus operandi of how Ladkim carried out this attack is similar to what they [IS group] preach in their propaganda. But there is a big difference between being trained in the group and being influenced by the group and being essentially a self-starter. The group can claim it and call him a soldier because he has done what they have called for in their manifesto.
France 24: Is there anyway to deradicalise someone once they have already begun indoctrination?
Nikita Malik: There is a remarkable amount of work that we can do and have been doing. This case today is what we call a false negative. A lot of work is happening already at the grassroots level by the authorities, the police, the neighbourhood watch groups, mentorship programmes and work in jails. But this work now seems to be unsuccessful because one has slipped through the net. However, there have been a lot of breakthroughs in this area simply because there are so many individuals who have not committed this type of act.
Click on the video player above to view the full FRANCE 24 report.