France's spy chief says terror threat is real23/11/2005 - 10:20:24
The threat of terrorism on French soil is real because there are networks in place, the head of the country’s domestic intelligence agency said today.
He cited the arrests of suspects believed to be planning attacks in recent months.
The threat is “real on one hand because a certain number of organisations have designated us as enemies, and on the other because our own investigations reveal, every day a little more, that networks already in place are working on terrorist projects hostile to our country,” said Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, head of the DST agency.
Citing examples of arrests already announced by police, the DST chief said a suspect was arrested in the southern city of Montpellier this summer after returning from Syria with a plan to attack Italy or France.
He said authorities had dismantled a cell this autumn in Trappes, in the Paris area, “whose clear, avowed goal was to commit major attacks in France”.
Seven French citizens had died after joining up with insurgents in Iraq, two of them in suicide bombings, De Bousquet de Florian said.
While some French citizens in Iraq had been jailed, at least 13 were still there and likely still fighting, he said.
“When they come back (to France), they are hardened and rather determined to pose a threat to our territory,” he said.
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