France Unveils Package of Anti-Terror Measures

France Unveils Package of Anti-Terror MeasuresFrance Unveils Package of Anti-Terror Measures

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday announced France would adopt new counter-terrorism measures in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks earlier this month, including strengthening intelligence services and preventing youth radicalization.

Valls said the government would hire around 2,600 new personnel and spend an additional $490 million (425 million euro) over three years as part of “exceptional measures” to fight terrorism on different fronts, France24 reported.

“Terrorism has struck our soil in an unprecedented way… and the threat of terrorism remains high, French citizens deserve to know the truth,” Valls told a press conference at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris, recalling a string of attacks earlier this month that claimed the lives of 17 people.

“We must act and act quickly, it is everyone’s responsibility, but foremost the government’s responsibility,” Valls told journalists in a televised address, insisting that while the new measures were exceptional, they needed to respect French law and values.

France’s government will cut 7,500 fewer jobs in the military than first planned as part of the plan to fight terrorism. The French Government said in a statement that a five-year military development budget program will now cut 18,300 positions through 2019 instead of 25,800.

The prime minister said there were around 3,000 people in France with direct or indirect ties to terrorism networks that needed to be kept under surveillance by intelligence services. He called for closer cooperation between European countries and “transit” countries in tracking radicals.

He said France would create a new terror watch list with a database containing the names of all people arrested or questioned in connection to terrorism, and that competent authorities would be instructed to keep track of addresses and any foreign travel for those on the list.

Valls said France needed to do more to prevent the radicalization of youths living in poor communities and of inmates in prison. He said the government had started setting up channels for families to signal worrying behavior to authorities, and promised to support the work of community organizations.