French President Emmanuel Macron and his Muslim allies are taking a fresh approach to dealing with extremism, targeting the “fringe elements” that fuel violence.
The president announced Sunday that he had named the group “The French Republic of Islam” (FRAI) and said it would be tasked with countering extremism in schools and universities.
In the coming months, FRAI officials will be working with French police, the government, and social workers to identify and track individuals who carry out extremist attacks.
The group also announced plans to create a special section for individuals who are radicalized online.
The initiative comes amid growing concerns over extremism in France.
More than a dozen people have been killed in attacks this year.
The latest was on Saturday, when a car drove into crowds in the city of Nice, killing 84 people.
The attack came just days after two brothers drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing 86 people.
In a sign of growing frustration among French Muslims, a group of Muslim students at a Paris school held a sit-in on Monday in protest against the attacks, demanding that the school stop the promotion of extremist ideologies.
“This is not an ideological struggle,” a student who asked not to be identified told CNN.
“It’s an ideological question.”