France has increased its terrorism alert level to the highest point after a school stabbing incident in Arras. In response to this heightened alert, the Louvre museum and Versailles palace in France have been evacuated and access has been restricted following bomb threats.
The incident began when the Louvre museum received written bomb threats, leading to the evacuation of tourists and the closure of the underground shopping center beneath the museum. The area was cordoned off by police and thoroughly searched. Fortunately, no one was injured, and no incidents were reported.
Similarly, tourists were ordered to leave Versailles, and the palace and its gardens were searched by police. These precautionary measures were taken to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
The recent stabbing incident in Arras had a significant impact on the security situation in France. The attacker, Mohammed Moguchkov, a Chechen Muslim ex-student, stabbed a French teacher to death and injured several others. It was revealed that Moguchkov was already on a government watchlist and under surveillance. This incident highlighted the urgent need to address radicalization within the country.
President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack as an act of “the barbarity of Islamist terrorism” and revealed that security forces had foiled a second attack. This second foiled attack involved a “radicalized” man who was arrested for carrying a banned weapon near a prayer hall in Yvelines.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor has launched an investigation into the incident, and ten individuals, including the Moguchkov family and two Belarusian nationals, have been detained. The attacker’s family had been facing expulsion from France years ago but was granted a last-minute appeal, allowing them to remain in Arras.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin suggested a possible link between the incident and events in the Middle East. In response, he officially banned all pro-Palestinian demonstrations in France, citing a potential for public disturbances. Thousands of people still took to the streets to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza, despite the ban.
To ensure the safety of its citizens and protect sensitive areas, France deployed 7,000 soldiers as part of Operation Sentinelle, a joint police and military initiative. This operation aims to safeguard cultural and religious sites, especially amidst the escalating hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The French Education Minister also urged regional education officials to enforce security measures at schools promptly.
In conclusion, France has taken strict security measures in response to the heightened terrorism alert. The evacuations of the Louvre museum and Versailles palace, along with the increased deployment of soldiers, demonstrate France’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its citizens and visitors. The recent stabbing incident in Arras sheds light on the urgent need to address radicalization and implement effective security measures to prevent future attacks.