France in the crosshairs of terror Editorial 16 July


Festivities in France to celebrate Bastille (बेस्टिल) Day were brutally cut short when a truck careened (झुकना) through a packed crowd in the French Riviera town of Nice. The driver, identified as a French national of Tunisian origin, was shot dead by the police, but not before he had killed 84 people, leaving bodies, including those of children, strewn on the seaside walkway, the Promenade des Anglais. President François Hollande quickly termed it a terror attack, extended the ongoing state of emergency for three months and called for intensifying (तेज) air strikes in Syria and Iraq. The attack is the third major one in France in less than 18 months, following last November’s siege of Paris that claimed 130 lives, and the January 2015 attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 persons dead. Although social media channels of the Islamic State were flooded with messages acknowledging the Nice attack, no group had officially taken responsibility for it in its immediate aftermath (परिणाम).
There are two broad lines of analysis that the attack calls for. The first is the tactical question of how to deal with the “lone wolf”, the solitary potential terrorist motivated by everything from bigotry (हठ) and mental illness to a genuine belief in the ultra-violent, nihilistic (शून्यवाद संबंधी) philosophy of the IS. Lone wolves are committed to carrying out suicide missions and taking as many innocent lives as possible, sometimes drawing direct inspiration from the words of IS leaders. A case in point here is of IS spokesman Muhammad al-Adnani who has called upon the faithful to “run over [American and French disbelievers] with your car.” How can they be stopped in any part of the world? In the post-Mumbai attacks scenario, Indian intelligence agencies cannot afford to be complacent about this, even as a growing number of alleged IS sympathisers are reported in different parts of the country. Secondly, a question that countries such as France must ask themselves is a strategic one. For instance, how could the French leadership do more to re-examine the roots of the social alienation (अलगाव की भावना) and economic misery (दुर्गति) that engulf so many among its almost five million Muslims and leave them vulnerable to radicalisation? Such introspection (अंतर्दर्शन) could potentially reset deep-seated ethno-religious dissonance (मतभेद) and, over the longer term, take the edge off the recruitment drives of extremists lurking in the shadows of Syria, Iraq, and the Internet.


1. Bastille – any prison or jail, especially one conducted in a tyrannical way
★Synonyms – chamber, cubicle
2. Careened– turn (a ship) on its side for cleaning, caulking, or repair
★Synonyms – lean, sway
★Antonyms – straighten
3. Intensifying– become or make more intense
★Synonyms – aggravate, accent
★Antonyms – halt, diminish
4. Aftermath – the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event
★Synonyms – impact, eventuality
★Antonyms – start, origin
5. Bigotry– intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself
★Synonyms – discrimination, injustice
★Antonyms – tolerance, fairness
6. Nihilistic– rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless
★Synonyms – anarchic, rebellious
7. Alienation– the state or experience of being alienated
★Synonyms – breach, division
★Antonyms – agreement, charm
8. Misery– a state or feeling of great physical or mental distress or discomfort
★Synonyms –agony, anguish
★Antonyms – comfort, delight
9. Introspection – the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes
★Synonyms –meditation, egoism
10.Dissonance  –disagreement
★Synonyms – antagonism, conflict, contention, controversy, difference, disaccord



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