12,000 police reservists called up in France

French Interior Ministry calls up 12,000 police reservists in effort to shore up security in wake of wave of ISIS-inspired terror attacks.

Shai Landesman ,

Site of Nice attack
Site of Nice attack
Reuters

Authorities in France have decided to step up security measures following Thursday night's horrific terror attack in Nice.

The Interior Ministry has called up 12,000 police reservists to provide additional security against further attacks in a country that has seen a string of them over the past 3 years.

Bernard Cazeneuve, the Interior Minister, appealed to "all French patriots who are willing to do so", to join the reserve police force as well.

France had 120,000 police deployed throughout the country before this latest call-up. The reserve force has a distinct military character, however, as 9,000 out of the 12,000 are military police.

The attack in Nice, in which 84 were murdered and hundreds wounded - with 121 still hospitalized as of this writing - was perpetrated by Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, who drove his truck into a large crowd gathered on the promenade to celebrate Bastille day.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Bouhlel was one "one of the soldiers" of the organization. He was known to local police as a petty criminal, but not as a possible terrorist, and reportedly had never been particularly devout in his Islamic practice. Cazeneuve has said that this indicates that Bouhlel must have been "radicalized very quickly", and that therefore this was a "new type of attack... which shows the extreme difficulty of the fight against terrorism".

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Front party, said that the new security measures were not enough, calling for Cazeneuve to resign. According to Le Pen, France has the means to defend itself, but its leaders are too weak to do what is necessary. Speaking on the outskirts of Paris, she called for a national guard to be created to protect France from terror.



top