France Ramps Up Security In Aftermath Of Terrorist Attacks And Prepares For Anti-Terror Rally

In Paris, authorities have tightened security around the nation Saturday in the wake of the horrific violence that occurred. France remains traumatized by the events, and the ripple of fear in the face of more terrorist attacks has been felt on a global scale.

After three days of terror that ended in the deaths of 17 victims and three gunmen, with the girlfriend of an assailant still at large, authorities are remaining on high alert.

Hayat Boumeddiene, 26-year-old girlfriend of assailant, still at large. Image via the Wall Street Journal

In addition to investigating the killings and the massacre in France, the Wall Street Journal relays that police are preparing “for the arrival of world leaders planning to participate in a march on Sunday.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has communicated that he plans to host a meeting on Sunday of senior security officials, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The rally is planned to be held in central Paris in support of the victims and to protest against terrorism. Also, the leaders will be meeting for the purpose of determining the best methods to handle the terrorist threats after the recent attacks.

Military on guard beneath the Eiffel Tower, image via National News

Authorities have been warned that France is not in the clear from more attacks and must remain on alert. Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke of the continued threat.

“The pain, the sadness, the anger are there. We can’t lower our guard.”

As a means to heighten security, on Saturday the French Defense Ministry indicated that it had added 250 troops to the 850 already deployed for security in the Paris region. Other nations have reported a heightening of their own security. Spain has raised its security alert level one notch — from two to three on its zero-to-four scale — as a precaution after the deadly attacks.

Angela Merkel also spoke of the unified challenge now faced as a result of the situation in France.

“We have made clear that the barbaric terrorist act in France is a challenge to us all to fight for the values we stand for.”

The three-day hunt for the assailants who stormed the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo ended when France’s capital was transformed into a war zone, and security forces in simultaneous raids killed three men suspected in the slaying of 17 people, including four hostages at a kosher grocery.

Jonathan Freedland, contributor to the Guardian, comments on the recent events, trying to make sense of the “senseless” terrorist act in France.

“It’s hard to live in a senseless world so people, even well-intentioned people, will try to make sense of this latest, desperate twist in Paris. So far there have been mercifully few attempts to make the usual, kneejerk move, insisting that the animating grievance must be western foreign policy. It is hard to draw that conclusion when the targets have been a satirical magazine and a shop selling salt beef and pickles.”

There is a prediction that the turnout at Sunday’s march will be great, as the outpouring of compassion and sympathy has been immense after the attacks that shocked the nation.

[Feature image via the Wall Street Journal]