by Dr John Bahadur Lamb, Lecturer in Criminology and Security Studies at Birmingham City University

The arrest of Gregoire Moutaux by Ukrainian internal security – the SBU – shows that potential terrorist threats can come from all sides of the political spectrum at a time when it is very easy to be solely focused on the Islamist Extremism of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Whilst no definitive link with a terrorist group or terroristic motives have yet been proven, it is likely that Moutaux is a self-radicalised, lone actor who is motivated by similar sentiments as that which pushed Anders Behring Breivik into action.

What seems to be the first major foiled plot thought to be planned to coincide with the Euro 2016 tournament seems to be from the Far Right and is not as surprising as it first  appears.

The problem France currently faces is from two distinct, opposed and mutually destructive groups. On one side are the Islamist inspired cells and individuals who claim allegiance to ISIS or Al-Qaeda. Whilst on the other side there are the ultra-nationalist, far right extremists. In essence, what happens is that the more ‘successful’ the Islamists are the more the Far Right will want to ‘strike back’.

In some ways this dichotomy can be thought of as a macabre mirror of the game which the Euro 2016 tournament celebrates with the Islamists currently 2:0 (two-nil) ahead after the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks.

Whilst we should never trivialise such horrific crimes, their victims or the threat that this poses the analogy allows us to understand why an upsurge in Far Right activity can now be expected.

This complicates an already difficult security situation faced by the French. Not only do they have to secure stadiums, fan zones and other places where fans may gather but they also now have to cast their protective net much wider.

As Breivik demonstrated, it can be hard to predict where, whom or what Far Right inspired individuals may attack but it is unlikely to be the tournament itself. Instead, it is much more likely that such individuals would seek to target those they hold responsible. As such, there is a long list of potential targets including mosques, Islamic schools or community centres at the obvious end and even symbols of the French Government, at the less obvious end, who may be seen as having failed to protect French citizens.

Clearly, the arrest of Moutaux creates more questions than answers currently but even if he turns out merely to be an arms dealer with Far Right sympathies he is a worrying blip on the French counter terrorism radar and is a complication that was not needed this close to the tournament starting.

Learn more about crime and criminology at Birmingham City University’s School of Social Sciences.