Law enforcement authorities in France calculate that there are currently 8,250 radicalized Muslims in the country, representing an increase of 50% in one year. In addition, the confidential memo from the Department of Public Security that was leaked to Le Parisien indicates that 17 police officers joined the ranks of Muslim terrorists between 2012 and 2015. Notable among these are officers who listen to and broadcast Muslim chants while serving on patrol.

A number of these same officers have refused to protect synagogues or observe a moment of silence to remember those felled in terrorist attacks. In November 2015, one of the worst terrorist attacks on record occurred in Paris. A terrorist assault team managed to kill 120, including one American. Security has been significantly heightened in France since the incident. In a related raid on March 15 in Belgium, on terrorist was killed and four police officers wounded in a gun fight. Police were seeking persons suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks. At least one terrorist from that incident is still at large. At the apartment in Brussels where the raid took place, the fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam were found. He is wanted for his involvement in the Paris attacks.

UPDATE: Salah Abdeslam was wounded in the raid and is now under arrest.

Also in France, police determined that a female police officer incited terrorism through her posts on Facebook. She referred to her police uniform as a “filthy rag of the Republic” while wiping her hands on it. Immediately after the deadly January 2015 on the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which was followed by killings at the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris, the policewoman wrote on her Facebook page: “Masked attack led by Zionist cowards…They should be killed.” In that attack, 17 people died.

Concerns in France have been piqued by the revelations, not only because police have access to classified databases, but also because they are armed. As a result, the French government has decided to examine on a weekly any behavior among officers that appears to violate the separation of religion and government, including the radicalization of police officers. According to Patrice Latron, who directs the office of the police prefect of Paris, said that these cases are however “very marginal.” […]

Nonetheless, a French radio station reported in January that 10 French soldiers deserted to join ISIS in its fight to seize power in Syria and the wider Middle East. French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed the news. One of the deserters is the “emir” of Deir Ezzor in Syria, where he leads a group of 10 French combatants whom he has personally trained. The other deserter are explosives experts or paratroopers, while some are Foreign Legion commandos.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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