La Radicalisation violente à l’extrême droite


Le logotype du personnage de comics « Punisher » est une référence visuelle en cours chez les radicaux de droite.

Le Counter Extremism Project (CEP) vient de publier un rapport sur les violences et radicalisations violentes d’extrême droite dans une perspective transnationale. Si vous pouvez lire l’intégralité de ce rapport dans ses versions anglaise ( Violent Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism – Transnational Connectivity, Definitions, Incidents, Structures and Countermeasures ) ou allemande (Gewaltorientierter Rechtsextremismus und Terrorismus – Transnationale Konnektivität, Definitionen, Vorfälle, Strukturen und Gegenmaßnahmen ), vous pouvez retrouver ci-dessous le chapitre que Jean-Yves Camus a consacré à la France – traduisible automatiquement grâce au bouton translate disponible ci-dessus.

The French penal code contains a broad definition of terrorism, whether it be an individual or collective attempt at “severely disturbing public order by threat or terror.”[1] One specific provision is aimed at dealing with “fighting groups” (groupes de combat), i.e., those that “have access to weapons, have a hierarchical structure and may disrupt public order.”[2] In practice, any of those, regardless of their ideology, can be banned based on art. L.212-1 of the Internal Security Code, which is an update of a 1936 law aimed at dismantling the fascist-leaning ligues (Leagues).[3] Between 2015 and 2020, 19 groups have been banned, eight of which belong to the extreme right.[4] A further five notable groups were banned in July 2013, among them Troisième voie (Third way), Jeunesses nationalistes révolutionnaires (JNR, National-Revolutionary Youth), Œuvre française (The French Work), and Jeunesses nationalistes (Nationalist Youth). The ban had a strong impact on the re-organisation of the XRW scene, which according to the 2019 report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on Extreme-Right groups, is estimated at around 3,000 activists.[5]

There is no legally binding definition of right-wing extremism in France: far-right (extrême-droite) and radical-right (droite radicale) are often used as synonyms, even in academic literature. Most groups refer to themselves as “national right” (droite nationale). Since 2015, a new, non-legal category has emerged: the ultra-right (ultra-droite). It became public when the head of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI; Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure)predicted the “ultra-right” would engage in “clashes between communities,” using Islamist terror attacks as an excuse.[6]

French legislation forbids wearing and displaying symbols of national-socialism.[7] A 1990 law forbids any kind of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race or religion, as well as Holocaust-denial.[8] Since 2003, crimes and offenses committed with the aggravating circumstance of racism, anti-Semitism, or prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation can lead to harsher sentences.[9]

History and key players of the XRW scene

Starting in 2011 with the election of Marine Le Pen as the chair of Front national(National Front), renamed Rassemblement national (National Rally, RN) in 2018, the far-right party embarked on a new course, seeking to distance itself from overtly extremist groups, banning dual membership with them and sometimes excluding militants with a record of racism, anti-Semitism, and/or violence.[10] As a result, many disgruntled former members and newcomers to the XRW scene see RN as a renegade party and think that the parliamentary option will not bring any real break with the “system.” Many have switched allegiance to extra-parliamentary radical groups such as Parti de la France (Party of France) and Dissidence française (French Dissidence),[11] with Synthèse nationale (National Synthesis) acting as an umbrella organisation whose annual forum is a key transnational event. In 2019, the forum featured speakers from the Greek Golden Dawn, Flemish Vlaams Belang, and Italian Centro Studi Polaris.[12] Although such groups do not advocate for terrorism, individuals associated with them have drifted to violence and are part of a broader scene that is prone to violence against political opponents and minorities. A relatively new player on the violent (but not terrorist) XRW scene is Les Zouaves, a loose group of young people who formerly belonged to Bastion Social or the Neo-Fascist Groupe Union Défense. They engage in street violence against political opponents from the Antifa movement and also took part in the Yellow Vests protests.[13]

In 2013, following the murder of anti-fascist activist Clément Méric by members of Troisième Voie (TV) and JNR, those organisations were outlawed, together with the neo-fascist Œuvre française and Jeunesses nationalistes.[14] Those latter groups, however, re-formed quickly, putting the efficiency of the ban into question, the more so that several cases of violence aimed at political opponents in which TV and JNR members are suspected, remain unsolved.[15] The most prominent case is that of “les noyés de la Deûle” (those drowned in the Deûle river)—five people found dead in a small river near Lille in 2010-2011, and at least one of whom, an anti-fascist militant, might have been killed by neo-Nazis close to JNR.[16] In 2018, new bans were decided against Blood and Honour Hexagone[17] and Bastion Social, a national-revolutionary group whose model is the Italian CasaPound and whose extreme members were suspected of planning armed attacks.[18] If the skinhead neo-Nazi scene remains marginal, offspring of Bastion Social emerged after the ban and remain active. With regard to how Œuvre française and Jeunesses nationalistes survived the ban, one should note that a significant proportion of its members, including leader Yvan Benedetti, found a new home in Parti Nationaliste Français (PNF), founded in 1983, and the monthly publication Militant, founded in 1967. Both the PNF and the publication had become quite inactive, being left with an ageing leadership that included veterans from collaborationist parties from the Second World War and former soldiers of the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (Légion des Volontaires français contre le Bolchevisme, LVF) or the French Waffen SS Division Charlemagne.[19] The nearly-defunct PNF served as a legal home for those activists who wanted to keep up the fight, so much so that former Œuvre française chairman Benedetti became the spokesman of PNF. Since then, he has been sentenced for continuing Œuvre française despite the 2013 ban and still claims to be its leader.[20] Benedetti, and other PNF members sustained the organisation by involving it in seemingly low-level violence such as street fighting and brawls. They have proven that banned movements can be revived by taking over a dwindling, but legal, like-minded group.

The main terrorist threat seems to come from small cells of “super-patriots,” that is, people often with a professional background in the police or the armed forces who believe that the state is complacent vis-a-vis “Islamism.” Consequently, even while in retirement they still feel bound by their pledge of duty and strive to replace the security forces so that France is not “Islamised” by mean of the so-called “great replacement,” i.e., the demographic replacement of indigenous French by French citizens of Muslim origin or by foreigners of the Muslim faith. The Action des Forces Opérationnelles (AFO) and Barjols groups discussed below belong to this category.


As explained in the 2018 Report of the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights (Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme, CNCDH), statistics from the Ministry of Interior about acts of racism and anti-Semitism are very difficult to use for research purposes or for an accurate picture of the situation in France as one cannot glean the motivation for violence from the raw numbers. Moreover, they only reflect incidents that were reported to the police by the victims. The figures show reported acts decreased by at least 50% between 2015 and 2017 and then increased by 19.7% in 2017-2018. There were 100 anti-Muslim incidents in 2018 while anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018.[21]

What is certain, however, is that since 2015, three plots by XRW affiliates to kill political officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, were disrupted before any harm was caused, a significant increase compared to the previous period when the only such case was an attempt to kill President Jacques Chirac on 14 July 2002, i.e., more than a decade earlier.[22] In June 2017 near Marseille, Logan Alexandre Nisin, aged 21, was arrested for having planned to kill then Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and radical left MP Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Nisin started a Facebook page in praise of Anders Behring Breivik, set up a self-styled Organisation armée secrete (OAS, Secret Army Organisation, a 1960s terrorist group fighting for “French Algeria”), which aimed at forcing Muslim re-migration to North Africa through a campaign of intimidation and terror in France.[23] Nisin is a former sympathiser of such XRW groups as Jeunesses nationalistes, Action française, and the Marseille-based Mouvement populaire nouvelle aurore (Popular Movement New Dawn, MPNA), whose name imitates that of the Greek Golden Dawn. Nisin was frustrated by those movements’ lack of ability or willingness to move forward to terrorist action, and decided to act on his own.[24]

The AFO plot, in 2018, established many new trends:[25] it involved activists aged between 32 and 69, with several people well over 50, who had served in the police, army, or gendarmerie. They included an engineer, a lawyer, and a diplomat.[26] They met through a website,[27] an online forum that was the first step to real-life, survivalist-like meet-ups and training for a “civil war” against the alleged Islamisation of France. They plotted to poison halal meat in supermarkets and target Islamist radicals who had been released from jail, imams, and hijab-wearing women selected at random. AFO itself was a splinter from Volontaires pour la France (Volunteers for France), a legal patriotic group. [28]

Finally, of the three major plots, the so-called Barjols plot (2018),[29] whose goal was to kill Macron with a ceramic knife that would not be intercepted by a metal detector, again was the work of older men (those arrested were aged between 32 and 62) who had connections to the radical right[30] and were fascinated by the army.[31] The rationale behind the three plots was that the state was allegedly neither willing nor able to effectively shield France from Islam and that self-proclaimed “patriots,” especially those with experience in the army or other security forces, have a duty to replace the “failing” security apparatus.[32] So far, no transnational connections between the alleged “super patriots” and the XRW scenes abroad have been established.

Apart from these three major conspiracies, one more post-2015 seemingly XRW plot merits a mention here—an attempt at killing worshippers in a mosque in Bayonne on 28 October 2019 in which two people were seriously injured. It was not considered an act of terrorism, as the 84-year-old author Claude Sinké was found responsible for his actions but determined to be partially insane by psychiatrists who examined him after he was arrested.[33] This former candidate for RN in local elections said his act was motivated by revenge for what he believed was the setting on fire of Notre Dame cathedral by “Muslims.”[34]


XRW fringe political parties do not receive public funding because their showing in the polls are too poor. Their budget is small: Civitas, a legal non-violent XRW party, had in 2017 an overall budget of 75,848 euros. Another one, Parti de la France, had a budget of 130,854 euros.[35] Although we do not have official data, other violent XRW parties and groups certainly have a smaller budget. Those groups, which are not registered political parties, theoretically have an obligation to keep a balance sheet of their finances if they are an “association” registered under the law,[36] but many such groups are not registered. The 2017 ban on Bastion Social and its six local branches has put an end to the movement’s tactic—imitating CasaPound—of opening meeting places where militants could gather, train in martial arts, hold conferences, and thus raise some money.[37]

Clothing sales is a small business for the XRW in France compared to other countries, but there are a few brands and online retail shops run by people in the skinhead neo-Nazi scene, such as Pride France.[38] Other means of raising money is through concerts, which tend to take place in Alsace, Lorraine, and areas adjacent to Switzerland, in order to attract as wide an international following as possible. The Charlemagne Hammerskins, a branch of the U.S.-based Hammerskin Nation, a white supremacist group founded in 1988, opened their own place, La Taverne de Thor (Meuse département)[39] and regularly holds concerts at private places in small rural villages in eastern France aimed at a French and predominantly German audience, with participants from the Benelux countries as well.[40] Even after the ban, Blood and Honour also continues to stage concerts catering to National-Socialist Black Metal (NSBM) fans. These concerts mostly take place in the vicinity of Lyon.[41] For example, the Call of Terror concert, which last took place in February 2020 in Châtillon-la-Palud near Lyon, attracted around 300 people. It is an example of how the XRW scene can raise money through concerts. The concerts always feature foreign bands from different parts of Europe and mixed martial arts (MMA) fights, which, though legally banned in France, are a growing source of income for the XRW scene.

Online activities

The main use of the internet and social media by the XRW is for propaganda purposes. Génération identitaire (Generation Identity, GI), as well as its German and Austrian sister-movements, have proven to be very skilled in producing videos that attract a youthful audience to their anti-immigration rhetoric.[42] GI does not advocate terrorism, but their activists have been sued for various offenses, such as usurpation of police powers[43] and illegally trespassing onto the Marseille premises of the NGO SOS-Méditerranée, which seeks to rescue migrants.[44] As such, the GI attempted to pose as a self-proclaimed alternative to border patrols and intimidated a humanitarian NGO but still advocates a by-the-book approach to political activism and deliberately steers clear of outright political violence.

Online activity is also the main propaganda medium for a few individuals like Alain Soral, leader of the Egalité et Réconciliation[45] (Equality and Reconciliation) movement, now living in Switzerland; Daniel Conversano, leader of the movement Les Braves (The Brave), living in Romania; Hervé Ryssen, a self-publisher of antisemitic books who has a past with Œuvre française and lives in the Paris area;[46] Boris Le Lay, an anti-Semitic blogger living in Japan; and Florian Rouanet (living near Limoges), a Catholic integralist who contends that the doctrine of national-socialism is compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church.[47] All of them are spreading white supremacist ideas and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Some of them have moved outside France to avoid French anti-racist legislation, and because YouTube, Twitter, and other companies are closing XRW-associated accounts, prompting them and other very radical militants to migrate either to the Russian VKontakte or to the American Parler, network.[48]

XRW online activity also consists of making content available to the general public that may incite hatred or violent action, sometimes including semi-classified documents from the armed forces related to urban warfare, as was the case with the AFO network.[49] Such offensive material is also sold online by online-only publishing houses, which opt for the niche market of survivalists and white supremacists keen to prepare for a civil war against immigrants/Muslims. An example is Diffusion du Lore, which in 2016 published Reconquête, whose content is similar to that of the Turner Diaries.[50] Moreover, the French XRW also utilises the online sphere to communicate—the Barjols plotters, whose motto was “action is the solution,” chatted through an encrypted forum, as AFO members sometimes did.[51] Consequently, in both cases this online chatter led to in-person meetings, and for some Barjols plotters, participation in Yellow Vests demonstrations and joint training.[52] At the present time, the most radical forum is that of Europe Ecologie les Bruns, which enables those registered to get access to a “Racial guide of French cities” (which are evaluated as to “how white” each of them is) or download Nazi books such as Mein Kampf, or get tips about how to go undetected online.[53] From available testimony, it becomes clear that entry to various sub-forums is filtered: no one is admitted as a member unless he/she has been vetted at an in-person meeting. As a result, the forum can effectively turn the virtual into the real. The fact that it is difficult to access and is not run by an established group may give the impression that if members become terrorists, then they would appear to be lone actors.


XRW extremism is acknowledged to be a major political issue, insofar as it undermines social cohesion and raise the prospect of ethnic strife becoming a serious concern.[54]

Although XRW groups have been under scrutiny from a 2019 parliamentary investigation commission,[55] counter-terrorism services see the various forms of threats from the XRW, including “super patriots,” as a lesser threat than radical Islam, as is shown by the testimonies of the heads of the various intelligence agencies before the 2016 Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on Responses to the Terrorist threat after 7 January 2015.[56] However, XRW groups are constantly monitored by a number of agencies whose fields of competence complement each other. The Central Service for Territorial Intelligence (Service central du renseignement territorial, SCRT) and the Direction of Intelligence at the Préfecture de Police de Paris (Direction du renseignement de la préfecture de police, DRPP) and the Department of Operational Foresight (Sous-Direction de l’Anticipation Opérationnelle, SDAO) at the Gendarmerie nationale are in charge of preventing violent actions that the XRW may stage during demonstrations or other militant activities. The DGSI is in charge of preventing actions that may harm the institutions and the security of the state. The infiltration of neo-Nazi and other extremists into the armed forces is dealt with by the Department for Intelligence and Security in the Defence (Direction du renseignement et de la sécurité de la Défense, DRSD). In July 2020, the left-wing online daily Mediapart published an inquiry regarding 10 neo-Nazis who were either in active service or in the reserve.[57] Official figures on this topic are not made public. Moreover, the TRACFIN service at the Ministry of Finance, which aims to fight the “dark economy” and the financing of terrorism, can track any suspected illegal financing of XRW groups.[58] Unofficial sources estimate that, as of September 2020, between 35 and 40 XRW activists are currently in jail.

Coordination of the French multi-agency approach is performed by the National Coordination of Intelligence and the Fight Against Terrorism (Coordination nationale du renseignement et de la lutte contre le terrorisme, CNRLT), founded in 2017, it directly reports to the president of the Republic. Its focus is on all terrorist threats, whether these emanate from radical Islamist extremism, the XRW, or the extreme left. From the work of the aforementioned 2016 parliamentary commission, it seems that the two major problems that CT must face are the ever-rising need for more highly-skilled staff and financing as well as closing the loopholes in the French Code of Penal Procedure (Code de Procédure Pénale), which limit the capability of CT agencies to effectively monitor suspects.[59]

Transnational connectivity

Connections between the French XRW and its international partners mainly consist of French activists demonstrating with foreign militants in France and abroad, staging roundtables, get-togethers, and meetings that are part of the usual and legal political activity. One distinctive feature of the French XRW is that the wannabe terrorists of this milieu have no international connections and apply the “France to the French” political motto of their ideological family to their own behaviour: they act, and eventually plot, through national-only cells.

International contacts have traditionally been established along linguistic lines. There is a long history of cooperation between French radicals and those in the French-speaking part of Belgium, e.g., the chairman of Civitas, Alain Escada, is a Belgium national,[60] and militants from the Mouvement Nation, led by Hervé Van Laethem,[61] often take part in demonstrations in France, especially those of Parti Nationaliste Français (PNF).[62] Links also exist with the French-speaking part of Switzerland as the Swiss Résistance helvétique (Helvetic Resistance) holds meetings with French völkisch groups such as Autour du lac (Annecy) and Edelweiss Pays de Savoie (Chambéry).[63] The language bond extends to the French-speaking province of Québec, Canada, where the heavily anti-Semitic, conspiracy-theory-laden magazine Le Harfang, published by the Fédération des Québecois de Souche, published interviews with French activists such as Pierre Vial from Terre et Peuple and Christian Bouchet from the former Unité radicale.[64]

The second peculiarity of the transnational aspect of the French XRW is that France is a predominantly Catholic country. Several XRW support a Catholic fundamentalist ideology, such as PNF, and thus are more prone to ally with foreign groups such as the Italian FN, the Greek Golden Dawn, the various factions of the Spanish Phalange, and Eastern European parties with a strong Christian (Orthodox) outlook. PNF regularly visits what remains of the former Romanian Iron Guard and Noua Dreaptă and takes part in the Lukov March in Sofia.[65] Those activities, from what we can observe from open sources, can be interpreted as a mere means to “keep the flame alive,” pay tribute to fascist figures of the past, and set up elaborate plans of building a pan-European network of like-minded movements. However, the EU and Bulgarian authorities have long expressed concerns about the incitement to hatred that the Lukov March represents, thus confirming that the event itself presents a threat.[66] Similarly, Noua Dreaptă has been described by scholars as an extremist movement that “is considered violent and organises paramilitary training for its members.”[67]

The PNF is also inviting representatives from the RID, designated as a terrorist organisation in the United States for its annual “Day of Europe” in Paris.[68] The PNF is part of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF),[69] an extreme-right European political party led by Roberto Fiore and founded in 2015. The Alliance is registered with the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations. The PNF also belongs to the Berlin-based Europa Terra Nostra Foundation,[70]ofwhich the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) is a member.[71] The NPD is described by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as an extreme-right party that threatens the constitutional order, although it remains legal.[72]

Believing that Europe and “the West” are decadent and that Russia is a world power that maintains the traditional values of the European Christian civilisation is one reason why XRW have pro-Russian sentiments. The authoritarian nature of the regime is held in high esteem, but the love for the so-called “eternal Russia” is also a factor.[73] This idea was a driving force in pushing dozens of neo-fascists to enlist in the Unité continentale unit that fought Ukrainian forces in Donbas.[74] The core of this unit, led by Victor Lenta, a former French paratrooper, is still politically active and was last seen taking part in the Yellow Vests protests.[75] There is a “soldier of fortune” aspect to those volunteers serving in Ukraine, but the fact that some of them are also involved in supporting the Serbs of Kosovo and that others fought ISIS in Syria/Iraq[76] shows their commitment to the “clash of civilisations” theory and their belief that the war against Islam is to be fought both in France and abroad.[77]

Contrary to the widely held opinion, not all XRW activists, however, look to Russia as a model, and some have taken the side of Ukraine in the Donbas region. A small group of French volunteers joined the Azov Battalion[78] and both GUD and Bastion Social have constantly supported the Svoboda party as well as Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector).[79] Those belonging to these groups were involved in violent incidents during the Yellow Vests protests.[80] Moreover, in December 2019, Marc de Cacqueray, leader of the aforementioned Les Zouaves, had a meeting in Kyiv with Helena Semenyaka from Azov’s political wing, the National Corps (Natsyionalnyi Korpous).[81] Of particular interest is the connection to Ukraine of XRW militants who are active in MMA. In 2020, the Asgardsrei festival in Kyiv, featuring both MMA and NSBM music, was attended by the Les Zouaves leader.[82] The reason for this link with the Ukrainian XRW is ideological: across Europe, a segment of the XRW is fascinated with the quest for independence that Ukraine pursued against the former USSR.[83]

The French-Ukrainian connection was also active in the quite mysterious arrest at the Poland-Ukraine border in 2016 of a French activist from the now defunct neo-fascist Renouveau Français, on suspicion of arms trafficking and planning a terror attack.[84] As shown by the arrest and conviction of former Identitarian leader Claude Hermant in 2019 on suspicion of arms trafficking and planning a terror attack,[85] XRW activism and arms trafficking for purely criminal purposes (in this case, buying weapons in Belgium) sometimes overlap.

The French XRW has consistently opposed the United States, which they think embodies materialistic values and the “melting pot” society and egalitarianism they hate. As a consequence, American white supremacists are not a primary reference for the French XRW, except in neo-Nazi circles. The two main connections with the United States are to be found in thew “great replacement” concept coined by French novelist Renaud Camus, and the legacy of the late Guillaume Faye (1949-2019), whose last book, Guerre civile raciale (Racial Civil War, 2019),[86] has been translated into English and was published in French with a foreword by Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. [87]

Links with Germany are scant except for the cooperation between the PNF and Die Rechte, the two parties taking part in the annual commemoration of the Dresden bombing.[88] Finally, Pierre Krebs, leader of Thule-seminar, maintains close personal bonds with Terre et Peuple,[89] the former French branch of the seemingly defunct Europaische Aktion,[90] a neo-Nazi movement. In 2017, 14 locations linked to the movement were raided by German authorities. During these raids, a significant number of weapons were seized. Although not involved directly in violence, these groups convey an ideology that borders on neo-Nazism combined with paganism and historical revisionism.[91] Terre et Peuple has branches in Wallonia, Spain, and Portugal, and claims to have German members working with its branch in Alsace.[92] Those branches, like the French local ones, organise roundtables and other pagan festivals and visits to sites of significance to völkisch militants.[93]

Statistical snapshot of the violent XRW threat

As shown above, the overall XRW milieu in France is assumed to number 3000 individuals. Experts estimate that currently around 35 to 40 of the members are reportedly in prison.[94] On 4 October 2020, Laurent Nunez, France’s national coordinator for intelligence and the fight against terrorism, mentioned in an interview that the number of individuals who are monitored by the security services stands at 8500, but that includes radical Islamists, the violent XRW and extreme-left activists. According to Nunez, since 2017 France has dismantled five violent XRW plots—it would be safe to assume that the three discussed in this chapter are in that number.[95]

One indication of the vibrancy of the milieu, although imperfect, is the number of racist attacks perpetrated in France, with the proviso that some of these attacks might have also been conducted by, for example, members of the radical Islamist milieu (this relates also to anti-Semitic or anti-Christian attacks on cemeteries or churches). All such attacks peaked, unsurprisingly, in 2015 at more than 2000, but declined to 950 in 2017, then rose by about 20% in 2018 (to 1137).[96]

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
No. of “racist acts” 1841 1352 1256 1542 1274 1662 2034 1128 950 1137


[1] French Penal code, art. 421-1. See:

[2] Ibid.

[3] See: “Loi du 10 Janvier 1936 sur les groupes de combat et les milices privées,”

[4] See the list of organisations banned in France since 1936:

[5] Assemble Nationale, “RAPPORT FAIT AU NOM DE LA COMMISSION D’ENQUÊTE (1) sur la lutte contre les groupuscules d’extrême droite en France,” 6 June 2019,

[6] Assemblee Nationale, “Audition de M. Patrick Calvar, directeur général de la sécurité intérieure,” 10 May 2016,

[7] Jeune Nation, “Délégation française à Dresde pour la commémoration des victimes des criminels bombardements alliés (photos),” 20 February 2020,

[8] The Law of 13 July 1990, known as “Loi Gayssot” from the name of the MP who introduced it, forrmer Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot, can be found here in its updated version:

[9] “LOI n° 2003-88 du 3 février 2003 visant à aggraver les peines punissant les infractions à caractère raciste, antisémite ou xenophobe (1),”

[10] See the notorious case of Œuvre française leader Yvan Benedetti, who was dropped because of an anti-Semitic statement: Libération, “Un très proche de Gollnisch exclu du FN pour deux ans,” 10 July 2011,

[11] Renamed Mouvement National-Democrate (National-Democratic Movement) on 4 August 2020.

[12] All speeches are available on YouTube, see:

[13] See, Mathieu Dejean, “Le Saint-Sauveur, QG des antifas de Paris, attaqué par des militants d’extrême-droite,” Les Inrocks, 5 June 2020,

[14] Cf.Libération, “La dissolution de trois associations d’extrême-droite entérinée”, 10 July 2013,

[15] Among other crimes, the drowning of an anti-fascist in Lille, see:  Laurie Moniez, Marie Tranchant “L’affaire des noyés de la Deûle refait surface,” Mediacites Lille, 11 May 2018,

[16] See: L’Express, “Noyés de la Deûle : des militants d’extrême-droite au cœur de l’enquête,” 5 May 2017,

[17] Blood and Honour Hexagone was the French branch of the neo-Nazi Skinhead international network of Blood and Honour.

[18] Pierre Plotu, “Le mouvement néofasciste Bastion social renaît de ses cendres,”, 29 October 2019,

[19] For more on PNF and Militant, see: Jean-Yves Camus/René Monzat, Les droites nationales et radicales en France, Presses universitaires de Lyon, 1992.

[20] Le Figaro, “Peine alourdie en appel pour Yvan Benedetti pour non-dissolution de l’œuvre française,” 12 June 2020,

[21] “Rapport annuel de la Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’Homme,” 2018, p.51,

[22] Chirac’s attacker, a sympathiser of the Unité radicale (Radical Unity) movement, acted alone and was stopped before he was able to kill the president. See the shooter’s testimony in: Paris-Normandie, “Maxime Brunerie a tenté de tuer Jacques Chirac en 2002,” 19 January 2020,

[23] Sud-Ouest, “Qui est Logan Alexandre Nisin, de l’ultra-droite au projet d’attentat terroriste?” 18 October 2017,

[24] In the early 1960s, OAS was a major French terrorist network with cells in both Algeria and the French mainland fighting against the independence of then French Algeria by planting bombs and killing pro-independence militants as well as government officials. It was headed by army generals who staged the aborted April 1961 coup.

[25] Europe 1, “Coup de filet anti-terroriste : que sait-on du groupuscule d’ultra-droite « Action des Forces Opérationnelles » ?,” 25 June 2018,

[26] See: Le Monde,“Ce que révèle l’enquête sur les projets d’attentats de l’ultra-droite visant des musulmans,” 4 September 2018,

[27] The aforementioned website is

[28] Cf.: Volontaires pour la France (Volunteers for France) website

[29] Pascal Ceaux, “Ce groupe d’ultradroite qui voulait tuer Emmanuel Macron,” Le Journal du Dimanche, 7 December 2019,

[30] Franceinfo, “Retraité, ancien membre d’un groupe identitaire… Qui est Jean-Pierre Bouyer, soupçonné d’avoir voulu poignarder Emmanuel Macron ?,” 12 November 2018,

[31] Barjols is a nickname of the French Special Forces fighting AQIM in Mali.

[32] See the many articles (postes) on the Guerre de France website, which was an organ of the AFO and as of September 2020 was still accessible with regularly updated content. See especially the definition of the civil war concept:

[33] Paul Véronique, “Mosquée de Bayonne : pourquoi parle-t-on d’attaque et non d’attentat?,” 30 October 2019, L’Express,

[34] La, “L’octogénaire accusé de l’attaque de la mosquée de Bayonne est mort en prison,” 27 February 2020,,8760053.php.

[35] The budget of political parties was published in the Journal Officiel, 11 January 2019,

[36] The law passed on 1 July 1901 continues to regulate the activities of non-religious associations. Alsace and Lorraine has specific legislation. See: Ministère de l’éducation nationale, “La loi du 1er juillet 1901 et la liberté d’association,”

[37] Cf.: Nicolas Lebourg, “Bastion social : le mouvement néofasciste qui s’implante en France,” Slate, 28 March 2018,


[39] Léa Boschiero, “Groupe néonazi Hammerskins en Meuse : le malaise. Le local de Combres-sous-les-Côtes a accueilli deux nouvelles réunions de sympathisants néonazis,” 25 July 2015, L’Est Republicain,

[40] . Martin Levisse, “Des néonazis allemands se replient en Lorraine,” L’Est Republicain, 18 August 2019,

[41] Laurent Burlet, “Malgré la dissolution de Blood and Honour, un nouveau concert de black metal néonazi,” Rue89Lyon, 6 February 20202,

[42] See their “Declaration of War”:

[43] As in the case of the April 2018 “border patrol” launched by the movement in the Alps in order to block immigrants from illegally crossing into France from Italy, this case is pending appeal.

[44] The activists have only been indicted and the trial is still pending, thus they are deemed not guilty of any charge until they stand trial and are convicted. See: Le Point, “22 identitaires mis en examen,” 8 October 2018,

[45] On 30 July 2020, Alain Soral was indicted for “publicly provoking to hatred or violence because of one’s origin.” For an extensive list of his convictions before and after 2015, see:

[46] On 18 September 2020, Ryssen was jailed for nine months following his conviction for anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. See: Robin Andraca, “Pour quelles raisons l’écrivain antisémite Hervé Ryssen a-t-il été incarcéré?” Libération, 20 September 2020,

[47] See his website:

[48] Laure Daussy, « Sur VK, les « réfugiés » d’extrême droite se lâchent,” Charlie Hebdo, 3 July 2020,

[49] Gabriel Thierry, “ Le webmaster de “Guerre de France”, le site vitrine d’Action des forces opérationnelles, aurait fait partie de la réserve de la Gendarmerie dans les années 1980,” L’Essor, 6 September 2018,

[50] Jean Yves Camus, “UNE LITTÉRATURE SUR L’IMMINENCE DE LA GUERRE RACIALE,” Fondation Jean Jaures, 17 April 2018,

[51] Only part of the group’s communications were encrypted, thus enabling the police to trace its activity. See: Tribune juive, “Ce que l’on sait du groupuscule Action des Forces Opérationnelles arrêté,” 27 June 2018,

[52] Cf.: Lucie Soulier, “QUI SONT LES barjols, bande d’autochtones identitaires et anti-Macron?” Le Monde, 12 November 2018,

[53] The forum is available here:

[54] For an appraisal of the XRW threat, see the report of the Commission d’enquête sur la lutte contre les groupuscules d’extrême-droite en France, June 2019, The Minister of the Interior, his State Secretary, and the heads of the various counterterrorism and intelligence agencies have testified at the request of the Assemblée nationale.

[55] See: Assemblee Nationale, “Commission d’enquête sur la lutte contre les groupuscules d’extrême droite en France,”

[56] This Commission was set up after the 7 January 2015 attack against the weekly Charlie Hebdo.

[57] Cf.: Sebastien Bourdon and Mathieu Suc, “Des néonazis font carrière dans l’armée française,” Mediapart, 8 July 2020,

[58] See: “Tracfin – Traitement du renseignement et action contre les circuits financiers clandestins,”

[59] Testimony of former DGSI Director Patrick Calvar to the Commission d’enquête parlementaire relative aux moyens mis en œuvre par l’Etat pour lutter contre le terrorisme depuis Janvier 2015, 24 May 2016,

[60] Cf.: Jean-Yves Camus, Les extrémismes en Europe : état des lieux en 1998, éd. de l’Aube, 1998, p. 122.

[61] Their website is available at:

[62] Cf.: Programme of the 2019 edition of Forum de l’Europe held in Paris:

[63] The German word völkisch describes an XRW ideology based on “Blood and Soil,” and although it was a strictly German phenomenon before 1945, it can now be used to describe white nationalist groups all over Europe that want to go beyond the simple nationalism of nation-states.

[64] Le Harfang, N°5. Vol. 6, June 2018; cf.:

[65] Noel Franc Gard, “Forum de l’Europe,” Jeune Nation, 20 July 2019,

[66] The 2020 edition was cancelled following a Supreme Court decision upholding the ban by the Mayor of Sofia. See: The Sofia Globe, “Cancellation of the Lukov March welcomed,” 23 February 2020,

[67] Uwe Backes, Patrick Moreau (eds.), The Extreme-Right in Europe, current trends and perspectives, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2011, p. 208.

[68] This author was able to speak with RID leader Stanislav Vorobyev after the 2016 march organised by the PNF with the assent and in the presence of PNF leader André Gandillon. In 2018, the website Jeune nation, an outlet for the PNF, reproduced the “Political Manifesto of the Russian Imperial Movement.” Cf: Jeune nation, “le manifeste international du Mouvement Imperial Russe,” 30 January 2018, Dernière croisade, Once again, the major problem is to know what is being said and planned in the members-only parts of the gatherings, which may differ from what this and other groups agree to show to media and academics.

[69] Their website is available at:

[70] Their website is available at:

[71] Nikolaj Nielsen, “Far-Right parties re-register to get access to EU funds,” The EU Observer, 14 February 2018,

[72] See: Bundesamt für Verfassungschutz, “Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands,”

[73] Cf.: Nicolas Lebourg, “Les extrêmes-droites françaises dans le champ magnétique de la Russie,” Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, July 2018,

[74] FLUX, “Quand l’extrême droite française part faire la guerre dans le Donbass en Ukraine,” 6 June 2016,

[75] France Soir, “Victor Lenta, le paramilitaire d’extrême droite qui tente de manipuler les Gilets jaunes” 5 February 2019,

[76] Ilinka Leger, Sebastien Marzin, “Les volontaires français du Donbass: déterminants d’un engagement (1/2),” REGARD SUR L’EST, 18 May 20202,

[77] For a thorough explanation of how pan-Slavism is part of the mindset of those French volunteers fighting in Donbas, some of them being of Serbian origin and supporting the Serbs of Kosovo, see: Frédéric Lynn, Les hommes libres, éditions Bios, 2017.


[79] For a comprehensive account of those links and those of other XRW parties with the Ukrainian extreme right, see: Olena Semenyaka, “Compte-rendu de la première conférence Paneuropa,” 2 October 2017,

[80] Christophe Cecil Garnier, “À l’ombre des « gilets jaunes », l’ultra droite,” VICE, 17 January 2019,

[81] Sébastien Bourdon: “At Ukraine’s Asgardsrei, A French Connection,” Bellingcat, 1 May 2020,

[82] Ibid.

[83] This does not imply that they have real knowledge of Stepan Bandera’s Ukrainian nationalism, to whom they are sympathetic because of his pro-Nazi stand during one part of the Second World War. On Pravyi Sektor’s ideology, see: Anton Shekhovtsov and Andreas Umland, “The Maidan and Beyond: Ukraine’s Radical Right,” of Democracy 25, no. 3 (2014), pp. 58-63.

[84] David Namias, “Qui est Grégoire M., Le Français Arrêté en Ukraine Avec un Arsenal de Guerre?” BFMV.TV, 7 June 2016,

[85] Lakhdar Belaid, “Trafic d’armes Peine alourdie en appel pour Claude Hermant,ex-figure de l’ultradroite lilloise,” LA VDN, 7 February 2019,

[86] Guillaume Faye, Guerre civile raciale, éd. Conversano, 2019, preface by Jared Taylor. See: Taylor’s preface:

[87] The founder of Jeune Nation and Œuvre française, Pierre Sidos, who died on 4 September 2020, said that: “from the start (in 1949), Jeune nation set its course apart by refusing to bow to America because they opposed the USSR. That was our specificity, as all those who are now considered as belonging to the Right and the Extreme-Right had put themselves under the American shield.” Cf.: David Doucet, “interview with Pierre Sidos,” Charles (magazine), April 2013,

[88][88] Jeune Nation, “Délégation française à Dresde pour la commémoration des victimes des criminels bombardements alliés,” 21 February 2020,

[89] Pierre Krebs, “Les Blancs ont-ils un avenir?” (“Do Whites have a future?”), video, 14 October 2019, Also, see his various contributions to Terre et Peuple (magazine): General Index of contributors,

[90] Terre et Peuple, “La Table Ronde: Des Idées pour le XXième Siècle,”

[91] Terre et Peuple paid tribute on 1 October 2018 to the deceased Swiss leader of the New European Order, Gaston-Armand Amaudruz, who started Holocaust denial with his 1949 book Ubu justicier ou le procès de Nuremberg. Cf.:

[92] Cf.: Stefan Lauer, “Ermittlungen wegen Bildung einer kriminellen Vereinigung : WAS ist die ‘Europaische Aktion’,” Belltower News, 27 June 2017,  

[93] See pictures of Solstice rituals on the Facebook page of Terre et Peuple Ile de France ( and the many pagan references on the Facebook pages of Les Amis de Terre et Peuple (

[94] Expert estimate during a CEP workshop on the violent XRW movement, 9 September 2020.

[95] See interview with Laurent Nunez:

[96] See: “Rapport annuel de la Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’Homme,” 2018, p. 48,

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