French PM: 15,000 in the process of being radicalized

“This week at least two attacks were foiled,” Manuel Valls said in an interview with Europe 1 radio and Itele television on Sunday. (File photo: AP)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday there would be new attacks in France but proposals by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to boost security was not the right way to deal with threats.

The French capital was put on high alert last week when French officials said they dismantled a “terrorist cell” that planned to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of Islamic State.

“This week at least two attacks were foiled,” Manuel Valls said in an interview with Europe 1 radio and Itele television on Sunday.

Valls said there were 15,000 people on the radar of police and intelligent services who were in the process of being radicalized.

“There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims...this is also my role to tell this truth to the French people,” Valls said.

In an interview newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), Sarkozy said France needed to get tough on militants by creating special courts and detention facilities to boost security.

“He is wrong about trying to wring the neck of the rule of law,” Valls said.

Sarkozy proposed to systematically place French citizens suspected of having militant links in special detention facilities.

“And don’t tell me it would be Guantanamo,” Sarkozy said in the interview. “In France, any administrative confinement is subject to subsequent control by a judge.”

Guantanamo, opened by former President George W. Bush, was used to hold prisoners rounded up overseas when the United States became embroiled in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

French teen arrested

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old has been arrested in his home in Paris for allegedly planning to carry out an attack.

A security official said Sunday that the boy was arrested a day earlier after France’s intelligence services “detected a threat.”

The official said the arrest isn’t linked to the arrests last week of four women and a man over aborted attacks.

The boy had already been under house arrest due to France’s state of emergency in which dozens of people are under special watch, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the arrest and asked not to be named.

 

(With AFP, Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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