France’s interior minister announced on Saturday that nearly 1,000 people have been denied entry into France since the country’s deadliest terrorist attack. Additional border checks and increased surveillance went into effect following the state of emergency declared immediately following the deadly Paris terrorist attack that left 130 dead at a concert hall, stadium and multiple restaurants and cafes in the French capital. The state of emergency was extended for three months by the nation’s legislature last week. The increased security comes as 50,000 people, including many world leaders, prepare to convene outside Paris for 12 days of climate change negotiations beginning Monday.
Some 4,000 people have been questioned at nearly 300 border control points since the attacks, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility for, Cazeneuve added. About 2,000 houses have been searched, 212 people have been detained and another 312 have been put under house arrest. More than 300 weapons have also been confiscated. “Since we brought back border controls, nearly 1,000 people have been denied entry to the national territory because of the risk they represented,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a speech in Strasbourg, AFP and Reuters reported.
He said 4000 individuals had been questioned at 285 border control points after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State. He said since the start of the state of emergency, French police had searched 2000 houses, detained 212 people for questioning, started 250 judicial procedures and put 312 people under house arrest. Police had also confiscated 318 weapons, including 31 military-grade arms. The French government had banned the sale of some domestic fuels and solvents as well as fireworks in the Paris region as part of security measures surrounding the United Nations climate meeting this week, France Info reported.
Stores in the French capital and surrounding suburbs had been asked to pull products such as burning alcohol, acetone and fire starters as well as firecrackers, the radio station reported, without providing an information source. The aim of the boosted controls is to enable the authorities to reinforce security as the COP21 climate talks officially get under way in Paris on Monday and also to confront the high terrorist threat level facing the country, Cazeneuve said, adding that they would make any necessary arrests.
The terror attacks in the French capital occurred against a backdrop of the worst refugee crisis Europe has faced since WWII with several of the Paris attackers known to have slipped into the EU along with the crowds of asylum seekers fleeing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. This has reinforced the criticism of the policy of welcoming refugees. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said earlier this week that European countries are stretched to their limits and cannot take in any more new arrivals.