Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will not end quickly

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

France

French interior minister wants to add nations to 'risk list'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-06

France's interior minister Brice Hortefeux said in an interview published in Le Figaro that he wants to add 23 countries to a list of countries whose air travellers face tighter security measures.

REUTERS - France’s interior minister wants to add 23 countries to a list of places whose air travellers face tighter security measures, in response to the botched bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner last month.

In comments published in Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday, Brice Hortefeux did not specify which countries he wanted to add to a list that now includes only Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Algeria and Mali.

The paper speculated Nigeria would feature, given that the suspected bomber was from there. The United States has already added it to its own watch-list, drawing angry protests from the Nigerian government.

"We have to expand the list of zones at risk from seven to 30 countries," said Hortefeux, one of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s closest allies.

"This is not about stigmatising the countries concerned, but we have to take into account the transit points of radical Islamist networks."

Speaking on French radio on Wednesday, he gave a more vague total of 20-30 countries.

The Interior Ministry was not immediately able to comment on the report or give details on the existing watch-list.

Airports around the world have rushed to improve security after the failed attack, using full-body scanners, pat-downs and increased watchfulness. Jittery officials have also contributed to a slew of scares, including the shut-down of a California airport over a jar of honey.

Airlines flying from the listed countries to France will need to report information on their passengers to authorities in advance.

In future, the interior ministry wants travellers’ details to be registered when the ticket is booked rather than during check-in, giving security services more time to spot suspicious profiles, the newspaper said.

Hortefeux said on the radio thousands of extra police had already been deployed to airports, and that all travellers heading to the United States were patted down, even if they were not from the countries on the risk list.

"This does not mean that the (listed) governments support terrorism, but sometimes they don’t have the means to fight against terrorism, as for example in Mali," he said on the radio. "The threat exists on our territory, too."

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is suspected of having tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, after undergoing training with al Qaeda in Yemen.

Date created : 2010-01-06

COMMENT(S)