France has been one of the most-targeted Western countries by jihadist organisations in the past 5 years and one of the most concerned by its recent development (40% of Europeans who joined IS are French). France has first been attacked by groups operating in the civil war in Algeria, like the GIA in the 1990s, before being targeted by al-Qaeda’s global jihad networks in the 2000s. Since that date though, the country has increasingly faced homegrown activism and the threat of burgeoning national and local subgroups. Of course, these developments echoed major international events such as 9/11 in the U.S., 7/7 in the U.K., the war in Iraq, the rise of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and North Africa, and the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
This experimental paper offers an overview analysis of requests related to jihadism on the French Google search engine.
We used French Google’s ‘Trends platform’ in order to identify historical evolution on how French relates to this matter. We examined the frequency of about twenty keywords referring to jihadi and radical Islam activism on Google searches between January 2004 to October 2020 (the longest period available).