Who Radicalized The French President's Far-Right Would-Be Assassin?

The suspect allegedly wanted to make a "political statement" by killing Macron, and also expressed a desire to hurt "blacks, Arabs Jews and homosexuals."

Emmanuel Macron

The 23-year-old self-described right-wing nationalist has been charged with trying to attack  French President Emmanuel Macron.

The unidentified suspect was reportedly planning to murder the French leader on July 14, during the Bastille Day parade.

He said he wanted to make a "political statement" by killing Macron, and also expressed a desire to hurt "blacks, Arabs Jews and homosexuals," according to RMC radio.

French intelligence services were alerted after the suspect posted about allegedly wanting to buy a Kalashnikov assault rifle to commit an attack on a video game site.

While details of the case are still emerging, it has been reported the suspect was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison - with 18 months suspended - in 2016 for "provoking racial hatred and supporting terrorism." He had allegedly applauded far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Brevik, who murdered killed eight people in a bomb attack in 2011 and fatally shot 69 people at a summer camp.

Also, L'Express newspaper reported the man “appeared to have been inspired by previous mass shootings, including the Colombine massacre."

Despite the fact the would-be attacker of the French president was planning to commit violence fueled by a particular ideology, and that he has been charged with individual terrorist activity both currently and previously, media outlets are refraining from referring to him as a potential terror threat.

In fact, some are even trying to humanize him.

RMC, for instance, has reported the suspect as an "unemployed man."

In addition, French authorities have described him as "psychologically unstable but conscious (of his actions) and determined."

Not one news channel or newspaper is discussing the would-be attacker's race or religion. This stands in stark contrast to what usually happens when a suspect turns out to be a person of color and, on top of that, a Muslim.

There's no discussion of religious radicalization and the suspect's alleged hatred towards Muslims, Jews and gays, even though he had previously expressed admiration for Brevik, who claimed “I consider myself to be 100 percent Christian"  in his 1,500-page manifesto. Brevik's ideology was also fuelled by a loathing of Muslims.

Although Macron's assassination plot was foiled by the police, there's almost little to no discussion of the man who had planned it.

Is a suspect considered a terror threat only when they're Muslim?

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