France Beefs Up at the Border Following String of Islamist Attacks Carried Out by Migrants

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that France is reinforcing its border controls after a series of Islamic extremist attacks that hit the country in recent weeks.

Macron said the number of police and troops in charge of border control will double from 2,400 to 4,800.

They will focus on fighting illegal immigration and smuggling activities, he said during a visit to a frontier post in Le Perthus, at the border with Spain.

“We see very clearly that terrorist actions can actually be led by some people who use migratory flows to threaten our territory. So we must reinforce our controls for reasons of national security,” Macron said.

An Islamic terrorist attack at a church in the city of Nice killed three people last week.

Gunmen Ambush Ammo Caravan Headed to Texas, 7 Million Rounds Destined for America Now in Hands of Violent Criminals

The chief suspect, Ibrahim Issaoui, is a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant who transited through Italy in September en route to France. Issaoui is now in a French hospital after being wounded by police as they arrested him.

Last month, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee beheaded a teacher northwest of Paris for showing caricatures of Muhammad to his students.

And in September, a Pakistan-born suspect seriously wounded two people in a knife attack near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Macron said he will push for changes to make controls at the European Union’s external borders more efficient.

Do you support France cracking down on illegal immigration?

“Attacks in France, in Austria a few days ago in Vienna, show us that the terrorist risk is everywhere, that [terrorist] networks are global … which forces Europe to intensify its response,” he said. France will present its proposals at a European summit in December.

The country raised its security alert to the maximum level after the Nice attack on Oct. 29.

It was the third attack since Charlie Hebdo republished caricatures of Muhammad in September as the trial opened for the 2015 attacks at the paper’s offices and a kosher supermarket.

The gunmen in that attack claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, which both recently called for strikes against France.

Herve Cazaux, border police director in Le Perthus region, said police have arrested 11,200 people seeking to cross the French-Spanish border illegally so far this year, compared to 5,500 last year.

Biden Plans to Redirect Border Wall Funding Toward 'Urgent Life, Safety, and Environmental Issues'

This is in part explained by France’s spring pandemic lockdown, under which the borders were closed until June 20, and by an increase in numbers of migrants this summer, many travelling via Spain from Algeria and Morocco, Cazaux said.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City