A new poll by the French Institute of public opinion (IFOP) for Atlantico has shown that the vast majority of French people favour a pre-emptive response to the terrorist threat, which says Francois Fillon.
Atlantico: What are the main conclusions we can draw from the survey?
Jerome Fourka (Jérôme Fourquet): the Survey was conducted after the start of the controversy around the revelations of a number of journalists that found that the French authorities and the President gave the green light to operations on the physical destruction of French and foreign jihadists outside the judicial framework.
The aim was to find out what they think about the French, whether they support the regular use of the army and secret services to eliminate people (as French citizens and not) who are involved in terrorist operations against France and its interests.
The results are categorical. For public opinion the issue here is not necessary, since 79% of respondents support such operations. Moreover, 47% of the French say that “entirely” operations abroad.
These figures imply the consent of three categories of French, even if it is clear that the further right we move in the political spectrum, the closer the answers to unconditional support. Anyway, condoning such actions very strongly, even among the left electorate.
In other words, the part of the left electorate, albeit reluctantly, but support such decisions, because it considers them a necessary evil. This goes against several principles, in particular that these issues should be dealt with by the court, or that there is no transparency. Among right-wing support is more open and widespread.
An interesting point lies in the answer to another question, which relates to the same operations, but against French jihadists. There support has been expressed even stronger and reaches 85%, and 54% of the time it’s full support. You would think that since we are talking about French citizens, most people would have been against the operations and advocated the investigation.
Everything was exactly the opposite: extrajudicial liquidation receives even more support when it comes to our own citizens. The result is something like a death sentence for our citizens without a court order. This is because the French people believe the terrorist threat, which takes in the eyes of the public the image of the French jihadists, capable in the future to return to the country. People are afraid of terrorist attacks, which can make returning to France radicals. In such circumstances, the population massively supported the decision to eliminate as many of them, if it is confirmed that they are a threat. This was Francois Fillon, while his opponents talked about the fight against radical ideology and deprivation of citizenship.
Here is a comparison with a similar survey conducted in USA in 2013: 49% of Americans supported the elimination of their fellow citizens, while 38% were against. That was before the wave of international terrorist attacks “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization — approx.ed.) however, the United States has been affected by Islamic terrorism.
I think we are seeing a sustainable trend and that it will be considered as one of the necessary measures to protect the country.