Advertisement

Is rural France vulnerable to terrorist attacks?

Share this article

Photo: AFP
13:03 CET+01:00
Extra police units are planned to be rolled out across the country in a bid to be more effective in stopping potential terror attacks outside of the cities, reports say.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve wants French police to be able to respond to a terror attack within 20 minutes - no matter where in France the attack may occur. 
 
He said that this would mean setting up special units all over the country, reported Le Figaro newspaper on Friday. 
 
"Every French person should have the same level of safety, no matter where they live in the country," he said. 
 
France remains under a nationwide state of emergency, which was put in place when terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs opened fire on Parisians in November.
 
Cazeneuve had already warned earlier this month that there was a terror threat "in the whole country, not just in the Paris region". 
 
Cazeneuve's plans would see 150 squads of police officers - both from the anti-criminality brigade (BAC) and the Surveillance and Intervention Platoons (PSIG) - stationed in key areas of the French countryside. 
 
The officers would be armed with Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles (pictured below), each capable of firing 750 rounds a minute. 
 
Photo: WikiCommons
 
The weapons have the capacity to shoot through bullet proof vests, such as those worn by the Kouachi brothers in the Paris attacks from January last year.
 
Police will also be equipped with bulletproof shields, like the ones that officers took into the Bataclan concert hall during the November attacks last year. 
 
Pictured below is one of the shields that was used by elite Search and Intervention Brigade (BRI) commandos at the time. 
 
Photo: AFP
 
The police in the French countryside would be tasked with stopping or at least slowing terrorists down while the elite anti-terror forces were on the way. 
 

Story continues below…

The plan will come with an estimated cost of €10 million for vehicles, and €6.6 million for staffing and materials.  
 
French terror expert François-Bernard Huyghe told The Local that terrorists could wreak as much terror in a remote village as they did in Paris in November.
 
"These jihadists aim for soft targets, so it doesn't have to be in Paris," said Huyghe. "They could choose a little village or a small town in the countryside and cause a massacre and then have more time to get away."
 
"Honestly if they want to attack in the countryside, there's not much authorities can do. France is just too big. 
 
"The measures they are taking are more about just trying to make people feel safer," said Huyghe.

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

How to get British healthcare no matter where you are

Navigating the health care system in another country can be tough, and even when it all works out, sometimes you just miss the comfort of the system back home. But there's a solution.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest headlines

Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement