French PM warns 15,000 Muslims being radicalized, 1,400 probed amid foiled terror plots
More terror attacks are in store for France, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned, saying that some 15,000 Muslims are in the process of radicalization in France and currently on police radar, while 1400 under investigation.
“The threat [of attacks on France] is at its highest we have seen it in recent days; it is there even as we speak now,” Manuel Valls said in an interview with Europe 1 radio and Itele television on Sunday.
“There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims. It is my job to tell this truth to the French people… We are a target – everyone understands this,” he added, stating that at least two attacks were foiled during the past week, while “every day, the intelligence services, police and gendarmerie thwart attacks and dismantle [terror] channels.”
The French capital was put on “maximum” alert this week after French officials said they had broken up an ISIS “terrorist cell” that was planning to hit at a Paris railway. French police arrested three radicalized women who reportedly intended to bomb the populous Paris Gare de Lyon railway station to avenge the death of ISIS leader Abu Muhammed al-Adnani.
Valls said the authorities are presently watching some 15,000 who could be radicals planning terror acts.
“We have nearly 700 French jihadists and French residents, who are currently fighting in Iraq and Syria,” he added, noting that this figure included “275 women and dozens of children.”
Valls also responded to comments recently made by France’s former president, Nicolas Sarkozy. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) newspaper, Sarkozy said France needed to create “a special anti-terrorist court” and place French citizens suspected of having terrorist links in preventative detention in order to boost security. Valls slammed Sarkozy’s idea, saying such measures could inspire more attacks, while also criticizing the anti-terrorism measures Sarkozy took while he was in office.