French PM Warns of New Attacks; 15,000 People on Police Radar

PARIS (Reuters) -
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks during a press conference to present reform proposals, agreed by the government today, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 23, 2015. The French government will go ahead with contested plans to strip dual citizens of their French nationality in terrorism cases, Prime Minister Valls said on Wednesday, brushing aside his own justice minister's concerns. REUTERS/Eric Feferberg/Pool
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. (Reuters/Eric Feferberg/Pool)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday there would be new attacks in France but proposals by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to boost security was not the right way to deal with threats.

The French capital was put on high alert last week when French officials said they dismantled a “terrorist cell” that planned to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of the Islamic State terror group.

“This week at least two attacks were foiled,” Manuel Valls said in an interview with Europe 1 radio and Itele channel on Sunday.

Valls said there were 15,000 people on the radar of police and intelligent services who were in the process of being radicalized.

“There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims… this is also my role to tell this truth to the French people,” Valls said.

In an interview newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), Sarkozy said France needed to get tough on militants by creating special courts and detention facilities to boost security.

“He is wrong about trying to wring the neck of the rule of law,” Valls said.

Sarkozy proposed to systematically place French citizens suspected of having terrorists links in special detention facilities.

“And don’t tell me it would be Guantanamo,” Sarkozy said in the interview. “In France, any administrative confinement is subject to subsequent control by a judge.”

Guantanamo, opened by former President George W. Bush, was used to hold prisoners rounded up overseas when the United States became embroiled in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.