France allows 100 terror suspects to own firearms: Authorities admit shocking security blunder two weeks after known gun enthusiast attacked police in Paris
- Interior Minister Gerard Collomb made announcement during a senate hearing
- He said they found 100 registered gun owners who were on extremism watchlist
- Comes two weeks after jihadis rammed car into a police van on Champs-Elysees
- Adam Djaziri, 31, legally possessed firearms despite being flagged as extremist
Some 100 terror suspects legally own firearms in France, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has said.
His announcement comes two weeks after a known gun enthusiast rammed a car filled with weapons and gas canisters into a police van on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Jihadist Adam Djaziri was the only one killed but the attack raised questions over how the 31-year-old legally possessed firearms despite being flagged as a potential radical Islamist two years ago.
Paris has been on high-alert ever since the terror attack in 2015 which saw 130 killed in a series of gun and bomb attacks. Pictured: A French policeman on patrol following an attack two weeks ago
In an interview with Le Figaro newspaper two days after the June 19 incident, Collomb said he had asked for a probe into similar cases.
During a Senate hearing on a proposed new anti-terrorism law, Collomb said they ‘identified about 100’ individuals who, like Djaziri, were registered gun owners despite being on a watchlist for extremism.
He said: ‘The person who wanted to commit that attack was on file and, at the same time, was the legal owner of firearms. This is a sign of disfunction.’
He said he had asked local police authorities to identify individuals on security watchlists so they are ‘able to take action and treat these problems’ in order for the country to ‘return to a normal state’.
Adam Dzaziri, 31, was identified as the man killed during the attempted attack on Paris’s Champs-Elysees (pictured) on Monday
His announcement comes two weeks after a known gun enthusiast rammed a car filled with weapons and gas canisters into a police van on the Champs-Elysees (file photo of French SWAT officers in the village of Longpont, Paris)
France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when Islamic State jihadists killed 130 people in shootings and bombings at the Bataclan concert venue, bars, restaurants and the national stadium.
The state of emergency has since been extended five times.
It will formally expire in mid-July when the centrist government of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron is expected to extend it again until November 1, while the new anti-terrorism law is prepared.