The terrorist assault at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7 has created unfortunate repercussions for Chechen citizens in France and Western Europe. Four days after the attack, 12 Chechens were detained after being arrested and having their money, telephones and computers confiscated. The suspects, who had all been arrested at night, were held for nearly two days at an undisclosed site in Paris. One of the detainees, a mother of three boys, was accused of organizing a terrorist organization.

Other reports have indicated that up to ten Chechen families have been deported from France over the course of the past week. This is after French security services warned neighboring countries such as Germany of Chechen terrorists infiltrating Western Europe. This led to four Chechens being detained for around six hours near Bexbach before they were ordered to drive back to France. On top of the arrests made in France, there have been arrests in Belgium, Germany and Austria. In all three cases, the suspects were accused of being linked to Syrian jihadist groups.

The aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo seems to have brought forth a campaign of ethnic profiling against Chechens in Western Europe. This is dangerous because ethnic profiling can lead to even larger disenfranchisement and alienation, which can lead to actual violent or terrorist behavior.

-Theo

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