Chirac steps up border security to fight terror



President Chirac yesterday ordered increased security on French borders in response to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Paris.

He said he had instructed the government to "introduce very firm measures for the strict control of all frontiers".

The President was speaking hours after the judicial authorities announced they had arrested four people from the Lyons area in connection with arms and explosives offences. The four, three French citizens and one Algerian, were detained several days ago during police raids on a housing estate close to the high-speed railway line where an unexploded bomb was found last month. They were brought to Paris two days ago for questioning.

The new border security measures follow the failed explosion of a bomb at a Paris street market on Sunday, when four people were injured, and the discovery on Monday of an unexploded bomb near another market. Police are uncertain whether they are dealing with one terrorist group or several.

Mr Chirac said that "the fact that you can cross borders so easily, without any controls, is a very great help to terrorists", adding: "As of today, there will be very strict control of everyone who crosses."

Asked what this meant for France's accession to the Schengen agreement, which lifts border controls between some of the EU countries, Mr Chirac said France had already delayed full implementation of the agreement and would "talk again if our partners do not take measures to reinforce the frontiers of the Schengen zone".

After the first two attacks - at Saint-Michel Metro station on 25 July, when seven people were killed, and near the Arc de Triomphe on 17 August - investigators were said to have concluded that the same group, probably from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), was responsible for both explosions.

Last week France issued an extradition order for an Algerian citizen and presumed GIA member, Abdelkrim Deneche, in connection with the Saint- Michel bombing. Mr Deneche is being held under anti-terrorist provisions in Sweden, but the Swedish authorities said yesterday that their investigations had confirmed his alibi for 25 July. They must now decide whether to release, deport or extradite him.

The French authorities say they have not established whether the last three incidents, the bomb on the Lyons railway line and the two bombs planted near Paris markets, are connected to the earlier attacks. They were much bigger than the first two bombs.

Mr Chirac paid tribute to the police and judiciary for their efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. But he said he was worried by some media reporting, and called on the French media to show "restraint", so as to prevent the terrorists from destabilising French society.

Mr Chirac refused to pin responsibility on any single culprit. The "Islamic fundamentalist connection is the most likely," he said, but he stressed that most Algerians in France were as law-abiding as everyone else.

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...

KS2 Teacher

£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album