All Israel

Islamist terrorism a major concern ahead of upcoming Olympics next month

Paris expects more than 15 million visitors during the summer Games

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The head of the police in Paris told the media that Islamist terrorism is the main security concern for French authorities preparing for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics set to begin on July 26.

During a press briefing on Friday Paris Police Chief Laurent Nunez stated, "There is no clear-cut threat yet against the Games and our country but I’d like to remind you that at the end of May, two individuals were arrested in Saint-Etienne and were plotting a project aimed directly at the Olympic Games.

Nunez added that the terrorist threat “remains just as important as the protest threat posed by radical environmental groups, the ultra-left, and the pro-Palestinian movement.”

Last month, French authorities arrested a man from Chechnya who was planning terrorist attacks on spectators and police forces at several soccer matches that will take place during the Summer Games at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne. The 18-year-old suspect reportedly attempted to attack the Olympic events in order “to die and become a martyr,” according to a statement by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

In April, French President Emmanuel Macron said the opening ceremony for the Olympics, scheduled to take place on the River Seine, would be moved to the national stadium if the security threat was too high. At the time, Macron assured the public: “If we think there are risks, depending on our analysis of the context, we have fallback scenarios.” 

Edmund Fitton-Brown, a former UN official who deals with sanctions and threat assessment, warned in April that ISIS (Islamic State) supporters from Central Asia could strike in Europe.

“I hope I’m wrong,” Fitton-Brown told CNN, “but I’m very worried about the Paris Olympics.” 

In late March, an ISIS spokesperson incited followers to carry out terror attacks against Jews and Christians in Israel and throughout the Western world.

“By Allah, this matter will be made possible,” Islamic State spokesperson Abu Hudhayfah al-Ansari said, praising a deadly shooting in Moscow and calling for more attacks to commemorate the 10th anniversary since the Islamist terror organization declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

France expects more than 15 million visitors to visit Paris for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, creating something of a security 'nightmare.'

“We have not had so many geopolitical questions in the Games since the Cold War. This time around, security might be the biggest issue,” said Jean-Baptiste Guégan, a specialist in sports geopolitics, in March. “All current tensions, such as the [ongoing] Israeli-Hamas conflict, will be projected onto the Olympics. Thinking that sport is apolitical is a myth.”

The specter of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, in which the Palestinian terrorist group Black September took hostage and murdered 11 Israeli athletes, their staff and a German police officer, also looms in the background.

“My greatest fear, and I am not the only one to share it, is that we have a rekindling of the memory of Munich and the desire of certain actors to make Paris a new Munich,” Guégan said.

“The threat is complex. We can imagine isolated actors who would attack the crowd and in particular identify Israeli supporters or even Israeli representatives on French soil,” he added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories