An armed and dangerous Corsican nationalist group has warned it will retaliate for any attack by Islamists on the island.
For decades the armed Corsican National Liberation Front (FLNC) carried out bombings and robberies targeting the French state. In 2014 the FLNC declared a ceasefire, but did not disarm.
The FLNC warned of a “determined response, without any qualms” for any jihadist attack in Corsica, in a message to the Corse Matin newspaper. The tough warning came after two attackers killed an elderly priest, Father Jacques Hamel, and took hostages in the Normandy church, before police shot the pair dead outside. Since then, the group is known to have recruited new members and intensified its training programme.
The FLNC are not, however, crazed racists wanting a fight with all Muslims. The FLNC message – issued by a faction called 22 October – made a point of calling on Muslim leaders in Corsica to “take a stand against radical Islam” and “alert us to any excesses you notice among disillusioned youths inclined towards extremism”.
Addressing jihadists, the FLNC said “your medieval philosophy doesn’t scare us”. It added: “You should know that any attack against our people would trigger a determined response, without any qualms… The Salafists clearly want to establish the Daesh (IS) policy among us, and we’re prepared for that.”
These people are seriously dangerous. Nine French policemen were killed in 34 years of pro-independence violence led by the FLNC.