France's efforts to combat homegrown terrorism are in turmoil: A group home intended to turn young people away from Islamic extremism sits empty. A move to segregate prison inmates suspected of jihadi sympathies has been abandoned. And the head of a program to prevent radicalization has been convicted of misusing funds.
The results are both disappointing and unsurprising, according to a French senator who co-wrote a report last month highly critical of an effort she says was devised in haste and has proved largely ineffective.
"We spread money around because we didn't have time and we had to communicate something, we had to show something," Esther Benbassa said. "The time that this takes to work is long, very long."