High level of vigilance France on alert over terror threat

Boris Johnson: 9/11 commemorations show ‘failure of terrorism'

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Mr Darmanin told French radio station RTL on Wednesday: “France is very threatened, all French people are.” He added: “We are now probably fairly well protected against attacks of the November 13 type, that is to say, organised from abroad, even if anything can happen. On the other hand, there are endogenous threats, like someone taking a knife, going somewhere and committing an attack in the name of a religion.”

This warning against home-grown terrorism comes a week after the trial begins in Paris of the perpetrators of the November 13 attacks, which shocked French citizens across the country in 2015.

The November 13 killings were France’s worst terrorist attacks in the country’s history, leaving 130 people dead and over 400 injured.

The terrorists targeted the Bataclan music hall, various bars and restaurants, and the Stade de France around central Paris and Saint-Denis.

More than 1,000 police will be present as security for the trial, which is France’s largest-ever criminal trial.

The trial will take place in a specially-built courtroom within the Palais de Justice in the centre of the capital.

The trial is expected to last until late May when a final verdict will likely be delivered.

There are approximately 1,800 plaintiffs and over 300 lawyers, with 20 men standing trial for their role in the November attacks. The trial also has 5 presiding judges.

Most of the defendants are expected to face life imprisonment if a guilty verdict is returned.

Salah Abdeslam, 31, is thought to be the only defendant who was part of the group which carried out the attacks.

Abdeslam has admitted that he discarded explosives rather than blowing himself up on the night of the attacks.

6 of the accused will be tried in absentia, and some are believed to have already been killed.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attacks on November 13, 2015, and encouraged further attacks on France.

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Mr Darmanin cautioned that this trial could inspire fresh attacks.

He told France Inter radio: “The terrorist threat in France in high, especially at times like the attacks’ trial.”

Since 2017, 36 Islamist attacks have reportedly been frustrated by law enforcement, including “a few” this year.

In addition to religious terrorism, the Minister of the Interior warned on RTL about the risk of ‘survivalist’ terrorism.

He said: These are “people who think the end of the world is approaching and therefore more speed is needed.

“We have already prevented attacks by these people who were about to take action.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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