Following the frequent targeting of the Republic of France, by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a nationalist movement in one of the regions of the country has announced that it will bypass the regular French army to take on the terrorists, if the area is attacked.
The Corsica region is a mountainous island on the Ligurian Sea. The area is a mixture of stylish coastal towns, dense forest and craggy peaks. Due to the area’s proximity to North Africa, many migrants from that part of Africa are living on the Island.
The militant movement, known as the National Liberation Front of Corsica – October 22(FLNC-22), said it will retaliate heavily against any extremist attacks on the island by ISIS. The FLNC-22 is said to have splinted from the main National Liberation Front of Corsica, a separatist organization seeking total independence of the region from France. Local media report that the FLNC-22 group is more radical to their approach for independence from France than the main organization.
According to members of the FLNC-22, any terrorist acts carried out on Corsican soil would prompt a determined response without any qualms. They said the French government will be blamed for failing to protect citizens of the island from any attack from the terrorists.
The group accused the French government of wasting resources to intervene in needless wars, putting the whole of France at risk of terrorist attacks, and failing to defend its citizens from such attacks.
In a statement the group sent to a local newspaper the Corse Matin, it urged all Muslims in the region to unite and reject the extremist ideologies of the terrorists, telling the Muslim population to report anybody to the group they suspect of having links to the terrorists.
“The aim of the Salafists is clearly to install Isis policies here and we are prepared for it. Your medieval philosophy does not frighten us. If a tragedy were to happen it [the French government] would bear substantial share of responsibility because it knows who the radicals Islamists are in Corsica. If Islamic States takes actions on our soil, we will manage to defeat them only together,” the group said in the statement published in the local newspaper.
The group further claimed that ISIS militants have tried to target Corsica in the past, but their internal intelligence managed to thwart the plans of the terrorists. However, this claim by the group of thwarting ISIS planned attack on the island has not been confirmed by French officials in the mainland.
The FLNC-22 movement has a cold relationship with the French authorities. RT English News reports that in 2012, some members of the group were tried in the capital Paris for a dozen bombings, including one that targeted government-owned buildings in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence.
In 2013 again, two men who claimed to have links to the FLNC-22 were sentenced to three and five years in prison respectively, for providing the group with technical and logistical support.
France has recently been rocked by a string of terrorist attacks claimed by ISIS terrorists. On July 14th, a truck driver went on rampage at a Bastille Day event, killing 85 people and injuring more than 300 others. In that same month, two militants with links to the terror group broke into a church, gruesomely slaughtering a priest and taking some of the congregation hostage. It was revealed that the two men who carried out this heinous attack were on the watch list of French intelligence officials.
Since those attacks in July, it is said right-wing movements and political parties have been gaining support. The French intelligence services have also faced harsh criticism for not watching known radicals.
In Corsica, observers say the FLNC is getting public support as many people feel unsafe due to the complex nature of the attacks by the terrorists. Many people, therefore, believe that joining some sort of Para-military forces will help scare the terrorists away from the island.
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