French PM Reveals New Anti-Terror Plans
Édouard Philippe, the Prime Minister of France, has announced a new set of anti-terrorism measures aimed at curbing extremism in the country.
Announced on Friday, July 13, 2018, his plan consists of 32 new regulations, with a particular focus on monitoring those who are become radicalized or who may turn back to violent activities.
To that end, the measures call for some restructuring of law enforcement. For one, it calls on the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), one of France's main intelligence agencies, to take on the main role leading counterterrorism efforts. Philippe also wants to create a new prosecutor's office specifically dedicated to issues of terrorism.
Beyond that, the new regulations call for the creation of a special unit dedicated to monitoring convicts, including both those who are in jail for terrorist activities or for those who may become radicalized. It would also work on figuring out what, exactly, leads people to acts of terrorism.
Philippe made these comments at the DGSI main office, in the Levallois-Perret suburb of the French capital. He noted that these days, terrorists are no longer isolated to foreign countries like Syria, but are increasingly made up of small-time crooks, as well as those who are psychologically manipulated by others into violent acts.
"We need to adapt ourselves," he said.
Terrorism has become a big deal in France during recent years, which have seen two hundred people killed in such incidents. Indeed, the country was under an official state of emergency for two years after the spate of November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, which alone killed 130 people; this finally ending last November.
One notable event in 2016 saw two nineteen-year-olds kill a Catholic priest in his church in Normandy; both perpetrators had been under police surveillance, with one, Adel Kermiche, supposed to be under house arrest when he committed the attack. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister at the time, called this a "failure" of French law enforcement.
Both perpetrators had apparently been self-radicalized, with Kermiche getting a boost from a "sheikh" whom he met while in prison. Theoretically, Philippe's regulations would help prevent similar issues in the future by being more careful about violent individuals.
As Philippe made his announcement, security was high in the capital for Bastille Day, France's national holiday. The situation was even more tense as it came just before the World Cup finale, which France ultimately won.
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