“We don’t recognize this country anymore,” locals told RT after attackers killed a priest by slitting his throat in the French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. President Hollande has acknowledged France's “war” against ISIS, but has failed to toughen laws.
Residents are frightened to leave their homes because they fear becoming the next victim of a brutal attack.
“It scares me that this happened here, in my hometown. I am shocked. When I go out, I will feel scared for my safety,'' a young woman told RT’s Anastasia Churkina.
“Their tactics are vile. To attack a church, a priest, in the way they did is inhumane,” a local man said.
French President Francois Hollande has met with the country’s religious leaders, in an attempt to ease tensions following the latest attack. The leaders have asked him for extra security.
Experts believe that Western governments have yet to recognize that extremists are targeting Christians.
“You look at extreme, brutal methods that ISIS has used against Christians, and it was evident that they [would] start doing the same things in Europe. I think it’s extremely alarming, and even more alarming that our political leaders are in denial, they don’t want to acknowledge that there is religious[ly]-motivated violence. It’s not only a political, but a spiritual battle,” Iben Thranholm, one of Denmark’s most read political columnists, told RT.
Adding to the horror is the fact that the end of the battle is no where in sight.
In February, Europol officials warned of some 5,000 so-called ''foreign fighters'' who had served in the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) military in Syria and Iraq. Thirty percent of them are now back in the EU, and hundreds could be potential terrorists, officials said in the report.
This is exactly what locals are fearing – that terrorists are walking the streets of France, in every corner of the country.
''I think the Islamist groups are everywhere,” a local resident told RT.
Along with the fear comes outrage over the government's actions – or lack of actions.
“They [politicians] know who the radicals are. They have their names. And nothing is being done about it,” a resident said.