French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday that France will step up security measures by creating thousands of new jobs and invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next three years as the country prepares to combat terrorism, according to reports.
According to Valls, France, which is monitoring nearly 3,000 people suspected to have jihadist ties, will create 2,680 jobs in counter-terrorism and invest nearly $492 million in the interior and justice ministries over the next three years. The announcement of the measures comes as the country continues to come to terms with the worst terrorist attack on French soil in decades, earlier this month, when Islamists with ties to militant organizations killed 17 people in multiple attacks over three days.
“There’s no such thing as zero risk but we must take all the necessary measures,” Valls said at a news conference Wednesday, after a cabinet meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal.
He added that the country’s intelligence services are facing a “formidable” challenge as there has been an increase in the number of people with links to terror networks in Syria and Iraq. Two of the attackers on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo publication, which killed 12 people, had claimed allegiance to al Qaeda, while another attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a policewoman, and four hostages at a kosher supermarket, allegedly had ties to the Islamic State group.
“This change in scale in a short amount of time forces us to take exceptional measures,” Valls said, according to the Journal.
France is also looking to come up with measures that would make it easier to tap phones, Valls said, according to The Associated Press (AP). The prime minister’s statement came even as prosecutors announced that four men, who are suspected to have provided logistical support to one of the Paris attackers, have been charged with being associated with terrorism.
Francois Molins, the prosecutor, identified the suspects as Willy P., Christophe R., Tonino G. and Mickael A. Three of the men are suspected to have bought weapons for Coulibaly while one of them is suspected to have stored them in his house, AP reported.