AP

French prosecutor warns of elevated terror attack threat

Sep 1, 2022, 2:38 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2022, 2:40 am

PARIS (AP) — There is an elevated threat of terror attacks on French soil by Islamic extremists coming from Iraq and Syria, France’s national anti-terrorism prosecutor warned Friday.

Jean-Francois Ricard said in an interview on French news broadcaster BFM TV that terrorist acts carried out “by individuals coming from areas where terrorists are operating, especially the Iraqi-Syrian area” cannot be ruled out.

Ricard’s comments come ahead of the opening of the trial of eight suspects in connection with the 2016 Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that left 86 people dead.

Ricard said the extremist threat has increased since 2020. “For two years, we’ve been able to see how the Islamic State group was regaining some pieces of territory, was restructuring itself” in Iraq and Syria.

He pointed to the January attack in Syria by Islamic State militants of a prison holding suspected extremists in the northeastern city of Hassakeh.

Individuals convicted in France on terror-related charges and are set to be released pose another threat, Ricard said.

“Very often they have abandoned none of their convictions,” he said, adding however that France’s judicial and intelligence services will keep a close watch on that released inmates.

The prosecutor said French authorities will “need to do everything we can” to prevent determined terrorists from committing attacks.

“It’s a true problem that we must certainly not deny,” he said.

The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the July 14, 2016 attack in Nice. The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who plowed a 19-ton truck into a crowd assembled for the fireworks display, was shot dead by police.

French authorities said Bouhlel, a Tunisian with French residency, was inspired by the extremist group’s propaganda, but they say no evidence has been found that IS orchestrated the attack. The trial is to take place at a special court for terrorist cases in Paris.

In June, 20 men were convicted in connection with the 2015 Paris terror attacks on the Bataclan theater, Paris cafes and the national stadium that resulted in 130 deaths. Most attention had focused on the lone surviving member of the Islamic State attack team, Salah Abdeslam. The other suspects were found guilty of assisting in the preparation of the attacks or hiding Abdeslam from police. Some are presumed dead in Syria and were tried in absentia.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

5 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

6 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

6 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

7 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

8 days ago

French prosecutor warns of elevated terror attack threat