The problem of Islamist radicalization presents a grim challenge to France, and the forces that drive young people to join violent extremist groups remain poorly understood. Far more than the United States, the circumstances that drive average people to become violent affect a far larger proportion of the population. Often, ...

With Britain leaving the EU, concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's commitment to Europe, and an increasingly aggressive Russia, Europeans – especially the French and Germans – are bolstering their own defenses. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Jeffrey Rathke, Deputy Director of the Europe Program at the Center ...

With Britain leaving the EU, concern from Europeans about U.S. President Donald Trump's commitment to Europe, and an increasingly aggressive Russia, Europeans are looking to bolster their own defenses. France and Germany are the two countries most equipped to lead Europe in the defense and security sphere, and have been ...

Germany is emerging as a major defense player in Europe. With the UK leaving the EU, Germany and France are now leading Europe’s efforts to secure the continent. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Stephen Szabo, a senior fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, about Franco-German ...

With Britain leaving the European Union, a surge in support for populist and anti-EU parties across the continent, and an uncertain United States that seems to be pulling away from Europe, France and Germany – under centrist French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – look increasingly like ...

Will French President Emmanuel Macron be able to work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to restore a fracturing European Union to a position of strength? The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Steven Kramer, a former policy advisor to the U.S. State Department from 1996 to 2002; Kramer said the ...

French President Emmanuel Macron clinched a major win in the country’s recent parliamentary elections, and as Germany looks toward federal elections in September, Chancellor Angela Merkel has a good shot at being reelected for a fourth term. With Britain leaving the European Union and the U.S. somewhat disengaging from the ...

French President Emmanuel Macron clinched a parliamentary majority on Sunday, when his en Marche party won more than 300 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly, giving the pro-EU, centrist president a strong mandate to pursue his vision for the country. What Macron’s defense and security policies will look ...

French voters have a choice of two worlds May 7 between the internationalist, centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and the isolationist, far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen. The election could signal drastic changes to French defense and foreign policy or it could mean more of the same. Le Pen ...

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency Sunday in a landslide victory over far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen – capturing 66.1 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 33.9.  President Donald Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win... I look very much forward to working ...

French voters head to the polls Sunday to choose their next president: centrist Emmanuel Macron or far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen. On the campaign trail, Le Pen has advocated closer relations with Russia and said she wants to pull France out of both the European Union and NATO. ...

The two remaining candidates in the French presidential race, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, offer voters stark, opposing choices for the future of their country, as well as its security and defense. Macron, who ran on a pro-Europe platform, topped Sunday’s first round vote, followed ...

French citizens head to the voting stations Sunday to narrow the field of candidates for the nation’s next president. The top two winners in the first round of voting will go head-to-head in a second round of voting on May 7, if neither wins more than half the votes, which ...

Thursday’s deadly attack on Paris police jolted the first round of France’s upcoming Presidential election, with several of the leading candidates canceling campaign events and issuing last-minute statements regarding terrorism and national security. The attack, which occurred on the Champs Elysees around 9pm local time, left one police officer dead ...

Round one of the French presidential elections, on April 23, looks as if it’s going to set up a battle of non-traditional parties. Polls predict Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate who recently created his own party, versus Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front party. Now, some ...

As the French presidential election gets underway, the candidates positions toward the EU, Washington, and Moscow vary significantly. Depending on who comes out on top, relations with these different power centers could change. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Charles Kupchan, former special assistant to the president and senior ...

France’s upcoming presidential election is perhaps the most important in the nearly 60-year history of the Fifth Republic. The election’s first round on Sunday comes at a time of an increasingly divided France, stemming from years of corrupt politicians, economic malaise, high unemployment, and terror. France has been in a ...

With just a few weeks left until French voters head to the polls, far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen made her way to Moscow for a surprise meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.   As Putin stood last Friday beside his open admirer — Le Pen supports lifting Russian sanctions, ...

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) propensity for kidnapping was back on display earlier this week, as al Qaeda’s North African branch released a video of Swiss Christian missionary Beatrice Stockly, who has been held captive by the terrorist group for more than a year. The recording of Stockly ...

Four years ago, French forces intervened in Mali, successfully averting an al Qaeda-backed thrust toward the capital of Bamako. The French operation went a long way toward reducing the threat that multiple jihadist groups posed to this West Africa nation. The situation in Mali today remains tenuous, however, and the ...

A comparison with the 1848 domino-like revolutions that spread across Europe is a bit of a stretch, but far-right populism is definitely on a roll, throwing the whole European project in doubt. Will it continue is the big question in 2017.  A victory by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. The tumultuous nature of 2016 hit Europe especially hard. Wars in the Middle East became a refugee ...

The robbery of high profile personality Kim Kardashian in Paris shocked the celebrity stratosphere, but it also raised concrete questions about protocols, procedures and personal security. The reality TV star is regularly caught on camera flanked by bodyguards, but late Sunday night she was reportedly tied up in her bathroom ...

When Father Jacques Hamel was brutally killed at his church in northern France this week, the religious community came together, demanding greater protection. The French government responded by saying it would put more police on the streets and bring in extra security reservists, with French President Francois Hollande announcing a National ...

The Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) must be defeated on the ground in Iraq and Syria, before it creates not only a physical, but also a cyber caliphate, said French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian at a Brookings Institution event on Wednesday. Le Drian – along ...

Europe is increasingly vulnerable to terrorist attacks because of the changing terrorism landscape.  Especially troublesome is the uptick in lone wolf attacks, particularly those that are ISIS-inspired, which may have been the case in Nice last Thursday, when 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille ...

Last Thursday’s attack in Nice generates questions about France’s vulnerability to these kinds of threats and what the country and the region will do to respond. The Cipher Brief talked with Jeff Lightfoot, a senior associate at the Jones Group International and senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft ...

On Thursday evening, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove for more than a mile through a crowd of people celebrating France’s independence day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, killing at least 84 and injuring more than 200. The Cipher Brief spoke with National Defense University’s Steven Kramer about France’s vulnerabilities ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Former Director of Analysis at the NYPD, Mitch Silber, to discuss the implications of Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France. The Cipher Brief: What about France makes it a prime target for terrorist attacks, such as what we saw Thursday night in Nice? Mitch ...

While details continue to emerge about Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France, one thing remains clear: regardless of whether ISIS orchestrated the attack, inspired it, or had no connection to it whatsoever, the organization’s “prestige” among its supporters continues to rise after each terrorist incident. “In the early hours after ...

Whether ISIS had any connection with the terrorist attack in Nice, it really “doesn’t matter,” former CIA case officer and Soufan Group Director of Special Projects Patrick Skinner told The Cipher Brief in an interview.    We talked to Skinner about ISIS’ messaging and the difficulty the West has in responding ...

The latest terrorist attack in Nice, France on Thursday, reminded us of the long struggle in the global war on terrorism since 9/11.  The West has been buffeted by one attack after another lately, and despite our aggressive efforts worldwide, the enemy is resilient and the fight has changed since ...

A truck plowed through a crowd gathered in Nice, France for Bastille Day celebrations on Thursday, killing at least 84 people and injuring dozens more. In a statement in the early hours after the attack, French President François Hollande said that “there’s no denying the terrorist nature of this attack ...

There are heightened security concerns in France, as the Euro 2016 football tournament begins today at multiple sites throughout the country.  France is particularly on edge in light of the devastating coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last November that left 130 dead and hundreds injured.  In an interview with The ...