French Rime Minister at the anti-terrorism meeting
21 January 2015

Anti-terrorism: the Prime Minister announces exceptional measures

On 7, 8, and 9 January, terrorism struck like never before in France. In three days, 17 lives were taken by barbaric acts. Fighting terrorism requires determination, perseverance and consistent action. On Wednesday 21 January, Manuel Valls announced exceptional measures to reinforce the fight against terrorism.
Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February
"We owe the French people this truth: faced with determined individuals and with structured groups and networks, there is no such thing as zero risk. We must also take all necessary measures," Manuel Valls declared at the end of the Council of Ministers session on Wednesday 21 January. The number of radicalised individuals capable of moving into action has continued to rise in our country. Today, nearly 1,300 people, French natives or foreigners residing in France, must be kept under surveillance due to their implication in terrorist networks in Syria and Iraq. This represents a 130% increase in one year. Add to that the 400 to 500 people involved in older networks or those concerning other countries, as well as the main organisers in the French cyber Jihadist sphere. In all, there are nearly 3,000 people to keep under surveillance. "This change of scale, as I said last week before the National Assembly, forces us to take exceptional measures – but not measures of exception – to reinforce the services of the State and to establish our means of action," the Prime Minister declared.

Reinforcement of human and material resources

Faced with this threat, military personnel, gendarmes and police officers have already been mobilised throughout the country as part of the Vigipirate Plan. 10,500 soldiers have also been deployed. In total, 122,000 personnel are ensuring the permanent protection of high-risk areas and the public space. Manuel Valls has announced that:
  • 2,680 additional positions will be dedicated to the fight against terrorism in the next 3 years, 1,400 of them within the Ministry of the Interior, 950 within the Ministry of Justice, 250 within the Ministry of Defence and 80 within the Ministry of Finance (including 70 for Customs).
  • Among these 2,680 additional positions, 1,100 will be allocated to domestic intelligence services in charge of fighting terrorism (500 at the Directorate-General for Internal Security, 500 at the Central Territorial Intelligence Agency and 100 at the Paris police headquarters’ intelligence directorate).
  • €425 million in investment loans, equipment and operations will be allocated to this reinforcement plan over the next 3 years, of which €233 million for the Ministry of the Interior and €181 million for the Ministry of Justice.
  • Part of these resources will be allocated to the reinforcement of police (national and municipal) and gendarme protection: bulletproof vests and more advanced weaponry.
  • Air travel surveillance of individuals suspected of criminal activity, known as the PNR (Passenger Name Record) system, will be put in place. The French surveillance platform will be operational as of September 2015.

Legal framework for the action of intelligence services

"Beyond the unprecedented reinforcement of resources, it is essential to strengthen intelligence services’ legal capacities to act.”
  • The bill on intelligence will be presented to the Council of Ministers and submitted to Parliament in early April. The 1991 law on interceptions was drawn up before the arrival of the Internet. The legal framework of operations that are actually conducted is neither satisfactory in terms of the legal security of operations, nor in terms of public liberties. Following the example of most Western democracies, France will finally have a legal framework for the action of intelligence services.
  • We will continue to develop the recruitment of analysts with various profiles. The anti-terrorist coordination unit's role will be reinforced in this domain. Liaison and coordination offices will be able to benefit from these analysis resources.
  • Furthermore, services which, alongside the intelligence communities, participate in the fight against terrorism in addition to their main duties (national gendarme services, territorial intelligence, prison intelligence, etc.) will play a greater role in the intelligence community.

Reinforced detection of radicalisation phenomena by the Ministry of Justice services

Combatting radicalisation involves large-scale action. This phenomenon affects all of our territories.
  • The Paris anti-terrorism courts will be reinforced with 27 members of staff and 16 anti-terrorism prosecutors in prosecutors’ offices.
  • Prosecutors’ offices and specialised cross-regional courts will be reinforced, taking into account the links that exist between organised crime and terrorism.
  • Prison intelligence will also be reinforced (66 members of staff) to better understand the phenomenon of radicalisation in prisons.
  • A monitoring and intelligence unit will be created within the child protection service (PJJ – protection judiciaire de la jeunesse).
  • An inspection mission, in conjuncture with the General Inspectorate of Judicial Services and the General Administrative Inspectorate, will be created within the services and institutions of the PJJ.
  • A file listing persons accused or found guilty of terrorist acts will be established and will require these persons to regularly report their address and their international travel.

Increased management and monitoring of radicalised individuals

In order to combat radicalisation in prison: 
  • 5 blocks within prison institutions dedicated to radicalised detainees will be created based on the trial conducted in Fresnes.
  • Professionalisation of Muslim chaplains and increase in their number (60, i.e. 30% more).

Reinforced action for the prevention of radicalisation 

  • 60 million additional euros will be allocated to the prevention of radicalisation in the next three years by means of the interministerial crime-prevention fund.
  • In the coming days the Government will launch an Internet site dedicated to informing the greater public on ways to fight Jihadist recruitment, especially amongst young people.
  • Surveillance of Jihadists' communication and Internet activity will also be reinforced.
  • Resources dedicated to the surveillance of cyber Jihadism and to investigations related to offences committed online will be increased.
  • The work undertaken with Internet operators, including within the European framework, will be intensified.
  • A substantial part of the personnel will be assigned to cyber patrols and to teams investigating offences committed online. The Pharos platform for reporting illicit content has received 30,000 reports since 7 January, six times more than before.

Eliminating the justification of terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism

Statements and actions classified as racist, anti-Semitic or justifying terrorism must be eliminated.... [Read more]
15 January 2015