Updated 07:45 PM EST, Mon, Mar 08, 2021

Paris Attacks 2015: US to Hold 'Summit on Countering Violent Extremism’

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Over 40 world leaders led a mass unity in Paris last Sunday, but it was noted that President Barack Obama was absent from the rally, as was his Secretary of State, John Kerry. According to CNN, the United States was instead represented by the US Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.

Following Obama's and Kerry's absence from the rally, however, US announced that it will host a "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism" on February 18.

According to Fox News, the summit aims to highlight American and International efforts in preventing violent extremists and its supporters from inspiring and influencing other individual groups in carrying further violent attacks. The website noted that the statement made by the White House specifically pointed out the recent attacks in Australia, Canada, and most recently, France.

ABC also reported that the main goal of the summit, as per the statement from the White House, is to "better understand, identify and prevent the cycle of radicalization to violence at home in the United States and abroad."

The Wall Street Journal notes that rising concerns about attacks by al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other radical groups possibly inspired citizens and other residents to carry out their own attacks, as evidenced by last week's deadly assault on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The incident caused the death of a dozen people as the gunmen's apparent retaliation for the magazine's history of ridiculing Islam.

France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud thinks the summit is a good idea, saying that there is a need for global strategy, combining military response, information-sharing, law enforcement, and most importantly, coordination with Muslim countries.

He stressed the importance of the latter, telling ABC that that these countries are "on the front lines of this crisis ... and they are also the breeding ground of the crisis."

Araud said, "In a sense, France was not attacked as France. France was attacked as a Western democracy, and it could have happened everywhere in Europe, and, unfortunately, I guess, also in the U.S."

Despite what seems to be a religious war coming, Attorney General Eric Holder explained on NBC that there is no war with religion, but rather, with terrorists. "I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam, they use a corrupted version of Islam, to justify their actions," he said.

The list of representatives to attend the summit is yet to be announced.

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