Interview. Hasni Abidi:  » The fear and the terror are formidable weapons to destabilize our democracies ».

Tourist destination. Geneva October 2, 2014. The Center of Studies and Research on the Arab and Mediterranean ( CERMAM) in Geneva wants to contribute to the stream of communications generated by the civil society between two big nearby civilizations. It is not at the level of States, or official institutions, that he thinks he can act, but at the level of the individuals, the academics, the people and the businessmen and women, the journalists, the writers.
 Hasni ABIDI is Director of the CERMAM and the founder member of the international Committee.

Mister ABIDI Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, the Maldive Islands or still the Philippines are quite at the same time Islamic lands and tourist destinations. Did they become dangerous for a Westerner who would wish to go to it?

No, all these countries are not for the same level of risks. For some time, Egypt is disadvised from the tourists. She is always, but not for the same motives. Other countries do not establish for the moment a danger for the Westerners. Not to go there, it would be give in to the threats of the terrorists. The fear and the terror are formidable weapons to destabilize our democracies. You should not either overestimate their capacity to act, but it is advisable to observe a greater vigilance.

But then which feel giving to the execution of the French guide Hervé Gourdel committed by an Algerian group connected to the Islamic State?

The negotiation or the ransom demand was not on the agenda. The given very short deadline left no chance with a process of negotiation. Besides, regarding terrorism, the Algerian regime does not go in for subtleties. Hervé Gourdel, first Westerner kidnapped off territory of Daech, was kidnapped to sign the birth certificate of Jund Al-Khalifa in a roughest way. Distance itself from AQMI (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and mark its allegiance to the self-proclaimed Caliph. The movement so hopes to enlarge its ranks and to become the justifiable representative of  Daech in Algeria. The appeals to the murder against the French people launched by the number 2 of the movement were literally applied by this group, nevertheless without visible organic link with the Islamic State. We are in front of a movement which knocks by opportunism and not by calculation. He knocks when he can and where he can.

Can we imagine that the hostage taking and the executions are going to multiply from now on all around the world?

Contrary to Al-Qaeda, which took time to establish an international network and create structures under forms of sleeper cells, Daech is relatively recent and built its strategy on the consolidation of a territory and not on the globalization of the jihad which is the trademark of Al-Qaeda. Yes, Daech can turn to attacks abroad, but rather as penalties or to avenge that to exist. His operational mode consists in conquering a territory, rather in a little hostile environment, and in strengthening it. Actions abroad remain possible to mean an act of support or a shape of solidarity, but not to claim the creation and the occupation of the territory.

Is the continuation of the strikes in Iraq for you the best answer which the West can bring to eradicate the danger connected to the emergence of the Caliphate?

Airstrikes ended the attacks of Daech against the Kurdish sanctuary, the only refuge for minorities, but they neither secured the country, nor annihilated. (GHI)


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