In the last decades, Europe has been confronted with the multiplication of jihadist attacks on its territory, in almost every country – 150 attacks, more than 800 dead and nearly 5,000 injured. On the old continent, the expansion of this radical ideology and the perpetration of its deadly acts have become one of the greatest political and intellectual issues of today. If the phenomenon is at the core of the public debate, it remains poorly understood. This series delves into highly complex system: that of European jihadism.
Far from being an isolated phenomenon, it is at the crossroads of a multitude of political, socio-economic, religious and cultural issues. Major geopolitical crises - instilling anger and fear - have contributed to the ideology taking root throughout the continent. France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark have become major sources of recruits for ISIS, together accounting 90% of European jihadists in the Middle East. How did we get here? From the beginning of the Afghan conflict at the dawn of the 1980s to the recent military defeat of the Islamic State, this documentary thoroughly examines the establishment and spread of a terrible pattern of violence, while questioning the future of our societies.
Combining archives and interventions of historians, political scientists and former CIA and counterterrorism agents, this miniseries gives an unprecedented historical and geographical reconstruction that unveils a complex and still active international network. Fighting against reductionism, it chooses to analyze the extremist mechanisms from the inside, giving the floor to those who have lived it – from afar or up close.
Direction: Magali Serre
Production: Artline Films for ARTE France, Histoire TV, RTBF & RTS