3 attacks in just 2 years: Why France is a terrorist target
On Friday, France witnessed its third major terrorist strike in less than two years. A truck mowing down 84 people in Nice followed the attack on the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in January 2015 and the nearsimultaneous raids on a football stadium, concert hall and restaurants last November.
The scale of casualties, the chilling mode of execution and the frequency of attacks prompts questions about why France has become such a vulnerable target. However, understanding motivations for terror attacks is a complex subject that has no scholarly consensus.
Experts generally point to the following reasons: First is the availability of French extremists radicalised by the so-called Islamic State, the terror group that has ravaged Syria and Iraq since 2014.
According to the United Nations, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front have managed to attract recruits from over 80 countries; around 1,400 are from France and many are believed to have returned home to fight the French State.