Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

France

Risk of terror attack in France ‘never been higher’, says spy chief

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-12

The risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher, according to Bernard Squarcini, head of the country’s counterespionage agency in an interview published Saturday.

AP - The risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher, the head of the country’s counterespionage agency said in an interview released Saturday.

Bernard Squarcini told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that France’s history as a colonial master in North Africa, its military presence in Afghanistan and a proposal aimed at banning full-covering face veils in public all make the country a prime target for certain radical Islamist groups.

The risk of an attack is now as high as it was in 1995, before deadly attacks on the Paris subway by Algerian Islamic extremists, he said.

“Objectively, there are reasons for worry. The threat has never been as high” as now, the interview quotes Squarcini as saying. “We foil an average of two (planned) attacks a year, but one day or another, we’re going to get hit.”

Squarcini said the threat is threefold, coming from al-Qaida’s North African affiliate - an Algerian insurgent group that allied itself with the international terror network several years ago and has targeted French interest in the region in the past - radical French converts to Islam and French nationals who have trained with extremist groups in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

“All (such) scenarios are possible,” Squarcini said.

He added that before the 1995 bombings on the Paris subway, which killed

eight people and wounded hundreds, the risk came solely from insurgent groups from France’s former colony, Algeria. One such group, the Armed Islamic Group, claimed responsibility for the 1995 attacks.

Next week, the Senate, the upper house of the French parliament, will vote on a bill that would ban the wearing of burqas or niqabs, fully covering Islamic veils, in public places in France. The proposal, which was overwhelmingly approved in the lower house of parliament in July, drew the indignation of the No. 2 of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, who said the drive to ban the veil amounted to discrimination against Muslim women.

France’s terror alert level remains at red, the second-highest rank out of four.
 

Date created : 2010-09-11

COMMENT(S)