French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Sunday that the French people and their leaders had perhaps been putting the reality of Islamic terrorism behind them.
“The Interior Minister is here to remind the French people of reality,” he told the press while on a visit to a synagogue in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine) on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
“We are in an extremely critical situation,” he said. “We are at war against Islamic terrorism and perhaps we had collectively put it behind us a bit.”
Speaking two days after Friday’s incident in which a teen wielding a meat cleaver seriously wounded two persons in the street where the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo used to be located, Darmanin said “32 attacks” had been foiled in the past three years. “That’s about one per month,” he stressed.
“I have asked the Paris police commissioner to strengthen security at a number of sites, including sites that can be symbolic,” such as the former premises of the satirical newspaper, he announced.
“Jews, in particular, are being targeted by Islamist attacks,” Darmanin noted. He said 774 points, mainly schools and synagogues, were being protected and over 7,000 police and soldiers had been mobilised on Sunday for Yom Kippur.