Terror risk high in France: spy chief


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 on 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.”

Is there anything Bernard Squarcini  and his ilk can do  other than engage in handwringing and self-flagellation  over “colonial masters” , banning the veil and their military presence in Afghanistan?

Related: How France has fallen

Squarcini said the threat is threefold, coming from al-Qaeda’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-Qaeda, 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.

10 thoughts on “Terror risk high in France: spy chief”

  1. Suicide bomber failed
    in toilet of Copenhagen hotel Friday
    – Got injured

    The terror suspect’s plan was to bomb Jyllandsposten, the daily which once printed The caricatures.

    A map with a circle around the Jyllandsposten premises in the city of Ã…rhus, was one of the interesting objects found at the 40 years old suspect’s house. The police realized the danger around 0300 Saturday morning, and prepared with necessary equipment for terror action around the newspaper’s building.

    According to Jyllandsposten, there will be a press conferance Sunday morning.


  2. The correct number is 2 000, two thousand, were evacuated from the tower and the ground Champ de Mars nearby, shortly after 2100 hours Tuesday night.

  3. Just the Saint-Michel train station experienced a terror attack in 1995, by the Algerian GIA, which caused the death of eight persons. 117 were injured.

  4. Identity of Denmark bomber is not yet clear, but Danish police feels certain that they will find him. He speaks French, English with a French accent and German with a French accent, keeping three different passports, and he has even eradicated the serial number on his artificial leg in an effort to conceal his identity.

    This is what he looks like

  5. Five terror suspects arrested in Paris

    “(Reuters) – Five terror suspects arrested in Paris this week are suspected of conspiring to launch an attack in France and one of them was prepared to die, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on Wednesday.”

    “Hortefeux said the terror threat remained “real” and “elevated” following the arrest on Monday and Tuesday of five suspects, all of whom were French including one woman, at Charles de Gaulle airport and in the greater Paris region.”


Comments are closed.