Hunt for Metro bombers stalled

Yesterday the Paris police said 3,972 people and 1,193 vehicles were stopped and checked in the previous 24 hours in connection with the bombing of the Saint-Michel underground station. This might have caused excitement were it not that similar announcements have been made every morning since 26 July, the day after the blast that killed seven and injured more than 80, and the police seem no nearer to finding the culprits.

The tally of stops and searches has become little more than a ritual. The report includes details of how many of those stopped were taken to a police station, how many were foreigners, and how many of these had papers that were not in order (most of them) and dispatched to the relevant office of the security service.

Upwards of 80,000 people must have been checked in the Paris region; across France, the number must approach a million. Despite the operation, the investigation seems to have made little headway.

The only publicised glimmer of progress was the reported recognition by Algerian security services of one of the three Identikit pictures constructed by French police. Three admissions of responsibility, two by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group,have not been verified, though the assumption is that Algerian terrorists were responsible.

A Tunisian held in Paris 10 days ago and questioned was released almost at once. French police went to Italy to question a Moroccan held at Trieste with false French papers, but have played down suggestions he might have been involved in the bombing. Like the Tunisian, he was said to have had a video giving details of how to make bombs but this was not in itself evidence of a connection.

In Paris, a problem is said to have arisen over lack of communication between the judge leading the investigation, Jean-Francois Ricard, and investigators from the anti-terrorist squad. The squad, set up by Jacques Chirac in 1986, was downgraded by subsequent Socialist governments, which regarded some of its methods as questionable. Resulting low morale is given as one reason why investigators were slow to authorise removal of material from the train, which has made identification of the explosive used almost impossible.

Anti-terrorist officers have publicly questioned the independence of Mr Ricard, after he was invited to attend meetings of the government's emergency anti-terrorist committee and received separately by Jacques Toubon, the Justice Minister.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Merger and Acquisition Project Manager

£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN TAWe are looking to recrui...

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis