Jean-François Ricard, who heads the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) has said French security services have foiled at least six terror plots in recent months.
Ricard spoke to French media on Monday, stating that the terrorist threat, particularly from radical Islamic extremists, remains high in France. He said that several French members of Islamic State remain free in Syria or have crossed the border into Turkey.
He added that some French former members of the terror group have returned to France and “set up new structures”. He also warned that there was a threat from mentally unstable individuals who may be influenced by radical Islamic rhetoric and ideology, L’Opinion reports.
Currently, there are believed to be around 250 Islamic radical French men and women in custody along the Iraqi-Syrian border area and around 300 children. At least 170 adults have returned to France, and Mr Ricard said all were being tried or had been tried by French courts.
This week, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced that over 8,100 individuals were now on the French terrorist watch list known as the Reporting Index for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalisation (FSPRT).
During a visit to the headquarters of France’s domestic security agency, the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI), Darmanin said that radical Islamic terrorism still posed the biggest security threat to France.
“The fight against Islamist terrorism is a high priority of the government,” Darmanin said and added: “We will fight tirelessly… We will never give up relentlessly hunting down these enemies of the Republic.”
Leaked French Internal Intelligence Report Claims 150 Neighborhoods ‘Held’ By Radical Islamists https://t.co/Qiw0HelMzD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 22, 2020
“It is fuelled by the propaganda of terrorist groups, inspired by jihad veterans, but also by the grip that the proponents of radical Islam are trying to have in some of our neighbourhoods,” he said.
A leaked DGSI report from earlier in the year showed that at least 150 French neighbourhoods were controlled in some shape or form by radical Islamists.