France terror threat still high one year after Paris attacks

By REUTERS
November 12, 2016 11:00

The state of emergency that was declared by France in November after the Bataclan attacks remain in effect until today.

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paris police

Police forces and rescuers walk through rue Oberkampf near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL MEDINA)

It's been a year since terrorists in Paris launched a devastating series of coordinated shootings and bomb attacks across the city, killing 130 people and injuring hundreds more. At the Bataclan concert hall, 90 people were shot or blown up by suicide bombers.

The venue will reopen on Saturday on the eve of the anniversary, with a performance by British rock star Sting.

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The country is hoping that this is a sign, Paris is moving on. But memories of the attacks are still vivid, and the threat of more attacks remains high.
Paris marks year after attacks (Reuters)

"There is always a risk with terrorism. The risk, you can fight against the risk, but the risk exists. And I think in France and especially in Paris, and especially in this area, the idea and the trauma of the terrorism is still in the conscious," said Gilles Ferragu, an expert on terrorism.

France has stepped up its military commitment against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq. While at home, tens of thousands of armed soldiers patrol streets across the country.

A state of emergency was declared last November and remains in effect today. It gives police extra power to carry out searches and place people under house arrest.

Heavily armed troops on the streets are part of a range of security measures that France has introduced to try and make the public feel more secure.

But some people say the measures are affecting their daily life.

"One of the problems with the state of emergency is its duration. There is no control over it and it's tending to become permanent. There is feeling into the public opinion that the state of emergency is defending our way of life, whereas it is also infringing on our liberties," said Cécile Guérin-Bargues, a law professor at the Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense University.

Meanwhile jihadist attacks are still happening in France. In July, 86 people were killed in the southern region of the country. Two weeks later a priest was murdered by an IS fanatic.

So while many in France do want to move forward and put the November attacks behind them, there is also a rather grim acceptance that terrorism is increasingly becoming part of everyday life there.


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