Counter-Terrorism: French Question Loyalty of Moslem Troops

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October 3, 2005: France has been detecting, or at least fearing, loyalty problems among the fifteen percent of its soldiers who are Moslem. The military insists that these second and third generation soldiers of, for the most part, Arab descent, are loyal. But many Christian soldiers, NCOs and officers are not so sure. Harassment of Moslem troops by Christian soldiers is common. There have been no major incidents of soldiers turned terrorists, but the abuse from paranoid soldiers, NCOs and officers might push Moslem soldiers to go bad. This is believed more likely because there are no Moslem chaplains. Thus Moslem soldiers seek spiritual advice from clerics with no military experience, and possible a radical agenda. More worrisome is that radicalized soldiers will leave the army equipped with skills they can use for terrorist attacks.

 


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