France Opens Nine Terrorism Investigations During Coronavirus Lockdown


French investigators have opened at least nine preliminary terrorism investigations since the start of the coronavirus lockdown and warn that radical Islamic terrorism is still a significant threat.

The French national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office (Pnat) has been investigating several cases since the start of the lockdown measures in mid-March, including allegations of plots by French jihadists thought to have died fighting in Iraq and Syria for radical Islamist groups.

“Border control makes it difficult to enter France. But there are concerns about some individuals who could return to take action, not to mention attacks as sophisticated as those of November 13th,” a magistrate told the newspaper, Le Parisien, referencing the 2015 Bataclan massacre.

Nicolas Lerner, the head of France’s General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), warned that the terror threat posed by radical Islamic extremism has remained high even during the national lockdown.

“It remains at its previous level. In particular, jihadist propaganda continues to be generated, disseminated, and shared on social networks,” he said.

The DGSI and other police agencies have visited the homes of at least three known Islamic extremists between the first day of the coronavirus lockdown and April 15th. The agencies placed another 21 radicalised Islamists under surveillance.

The nine terrorism investigations begun since the start of the lockdown include the terrorist attack conducted by Sudanese asylum seeker Abdallah Ahmed-Osman, who went on a knife rampage in Romans-sur-Isère earlier this month, killing two people.

Two other migrants were also arrested in the wake of the terrorist attack, both of whom were Sudanese nationals.

While terror groups like Islamic State have told their members to avoid Europe due to the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, they did call on Allah to “increase the torment” of so-called infidels suffering from the Chinese virus. At the same time, they called for Muslims to be spared.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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