France announces new terror-fighting measures | News | DW | 21.01.2015
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France announces new terror-fighting measures

French Prime Minister Valls has announced plans to help his country combat terror in the future. The announcement came as authorities charged four men as accomplices in Paris kosher supermarket shooting.

A series of new measures to fight extremism in France was unveiled on Wednesday by Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Paris. He said it was the task of authorities to monitor nearly 3,000 people involved in "terrorist networks" in France and abroad and that the new plan would help.

"The number one priority, the number one requirement, is to further reinforce the human and technical resources of intelligence services," Valls said.

Valls said France would commit 425 million euros ($490 million) to the fight against terrorism. This would include 2,680 new jobs to be created, with about half coming in the police sector. Police are also to gain access to better weapons. Measures to make a telephone wiretap more easily available are also included in the plan.

Suspects charged with terror ties

The announcement comes as Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said on Wednesday that four suspects have been charged in connection with the man who shot a policewoman and killed four hostages at a kosher market earlier this month.

Specifically, the four men aged 22 to 28 are believed to have given logistical support by providing equipment to the gunman, Amedy Coulibaly. It is not clear if the mean were aware of Coulibaly's intent to carry out the attack on the grocery store.

The charges are the first to be brought in connection with the kosher supermarket shooting that killed four and the attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

Molins said three of the men had previous criminal records. DNA traces of one of the men are reported to have been found on the weapon Coulibaly used in the supermarket attack. The suspects are currently being held by police.

France's deadliest attacks in decades

Coulibaly was killed during the standoff with police at the kosher supermarket on January 9. A man from Mali who worked at the store and played a key role in rescuing several hostages and helping police end the siege was granted French citizenship on Tuesday.

It is believed Coulibaly had ties to the two men who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attack, but there is no indication that the four men in police custody were specifically tied to the shooting at the magazine's offices.

In addition to the supermarket shooting, Coulibaly shot and killed a policewoman the day before taking the hostages at the kosher market.

mz/sms (AP, AFP)

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