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    Fighting Terror With Terror: Right-Wing Extremists in EU Strike Back

    © REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch
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    Right-wing extremism increasingly attracts attention in the Western media. The EU countries are now facing a new kind of terrorism, arising from the attempts of far-right groups to "get revenge" for terror attacks committed by Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations.

    The dangerous trend is growing amid the defeat of far-right politicians in national elections.

    Deprived of the opportunity to influence the political course of their countries, the most radical representatives of the ultra-right movements have resorted to "lone-wolf" terror attacks as a last means of fighting off the encroachment of Islam in Europe, political observer Igor Gashkov wrote for RIA Novosti.

    Right-Wing Terror Attacks on the Rise

    On the night of June 19, Cardiff resident Darren Osborne, 47, rammed a van into pedestrians near a mosque at Finsbury Park in North London. Police said that at least one person was killed and 10 more were injured.

    As it turned out during the investigation, the driver wanted to "get revenge" for the Islamist terrorist attacks that took place in the United Kingdom. Before attacking the park near the mosque, Osborne was considering a more violent terrorist attack — an attack on an Islamic demonstration in London. The investigation said that Osborne also had psychiatric problems, as during family conversations he had talked about suicide.

    A few days later, a car rammed into a crowd celebrating Muslim the religious holiday Eid al-Fitr outside Westgate Sports Centre in Britain's Newcastle. The Muslim Council of Britain said that the attack was directed at Muslims leaving Ramadan night prayers.

    A similar attack took place in France almost at the same time. A driver tried to use his car to ram into a crowd near a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil, but no one was hurt. The car crashed into a wall, and the driver was detained by police. As the investigation uncovered later, the would-be terrorist twice underwent a treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

    On July 3, a 23-year-old right-wing extremist was arrested for allegedly preparing terrorist attack against French President Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day, celebrated on July 14. The would-be assassin was unhappy with Macron's statements about "diverse French culture" and hoped to kill the newly elected head of the state. If he'd succeeded, he'd hoped to be able to carry out attacks against Muslims, he claimed during his interrogation.

    Vicious Circle

    The aforementioned incidents are only few examples of attempts by right-wing radicals to respond to terror with terror. Far-right rhetoric in Europe is on the rise, and the local police literally have to prepare themselves for attacks on both sides, Gashkov noted. The ring-wing terrorism and Islamist terrorism go hand in hand and create a vicious circle.

    At the same time, some experts believe that that the danger of Anti-Islamic terrorism is being underestimated.

    A number of analysts argue that despite the fact that ring-wing terrorism poses a real threat to European security, Western authorities are used to only using the term "terrorism" to refer to violence committed by Muslims.

    Scientists believe that the term is being used in such a way that it has nothing to do with the act itself, but is rather related to the — mostly religious —identity of the actor. Such an approach presents terrorism in the wrong way and leads to a situation where the danger of terrorist acts committed by non-Muslims is underestimated or when the terrorist attacks are even not recognized as such.

    A similar point of view has been expressed by a human rights organization comprised of French Muslims. After the attack in Crete, the organization, called the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) published an official statement:

    "We are against the use of euphemisms in the case terrorist attacks. Or do the words ‘terrorist act' and ‘terrorist attempt' only apply to groups associated with Islam?" the statement read.

    According to the organization, Muslims can't cope with all cases of violence conducted by right-wing groups in response to Islamist terrorist attacks in Europe. After the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, dozens of graffiti appeared on the walls of the mosque in Creteil depicting a blood-red cross, which ordinary Muslims perceived as a threat to their security.

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    right-wing extremism, attacks, terrorism, Europe
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