05172021

France's Macron vows to crackdown on illegal immigration to counter growing 'terrorist threat'


France’s President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Thursday to shore up border control measures and crackdown on illegal immigration as part of the country’s overall strategy to combat the ascending “terrorist threat.”

“We see very clearly that terrorist actions can actually be led by some people who use migratory flows to threaten our territory,” he said during a visit to the border with adjoining Spain. “So, we must reinforce our controls for reasons of national security.”

The number of border police will be increased from 2,400 to 4,800.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the ‘Centre de cooperation policiere et douaniere’ (Franco-Spanish Police and Customs Cooperation Center) during a visit on the strengthening border controls at the crossing between Spain and France, at Le Perthus, France, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (Guillaume Horcajuelo, Pool via AP)

The stern comments come just days after an Islamic jihadist killed three churchgoers in a horrific knife assault – in which one victim was decapitated – at the Notre Dame Basilica in the city of Nice late last week. The alleged perpetrator, identified as 21-year-old Tunisian Ibrahim Issaoui, is believed to have moved illicitly through Italy in September and into France.

He remains in a French hospital after being wounded by French authorities during his apprehension.

FRANCE KNIFE ATTACK: WORLD LEADERS STAND UNITED AFTER 3 DEAD IN ‘BARBARIC’ KILLINGS IN NICE CHURCH

In the aftermath, France raised its security alert to its maximum on Oct 29. However, Macron also projected deeper concerns for the fragility of Europe.

Forensics officers deploy stretchers at the site of a knife attack as French soldiers stand guard the street in Nice on Oct. 29, 2020. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Forensics officers deploy stretchers at the site of a knife attack as French soldiers stand guard the street in Nice on Oct. 29, 2020. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Macron’s pledge to tighten immigration and stamp out terrorism also come at a time when some in the Muslim world have condemned him for allowing satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish leader who joined calls this week to boycott French products in response to Macron’s statement that Islam was a religion “in crisis” globally, stating that the French president needed mental treatment over his views on Islam.

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“Attacks in France, in Austria a few days ago in Vienna, show us that the terrorist risk is everywhere, that (terrorist) networks are global, which forces Europe to intensify its response,” he continued, adding that Paris will present its security proposal at a European summit next month. 

French policemen and firemen stand next to Notre Dame church after a knife attack, in Nice, France, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice that killed two people and injured several others. (AP Photo/Alexis Gilli)

French policemen and firemen stand next to Notre Dame church after a knife attack, in Nice, France, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice that killed two people and injured several others. (AP Photo/Alexis Gilli)

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The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly shooting in the Austrian capital on Monday, which left at least five people dead and another 17 injured. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hollie McKay has a been a Fox News Digital staff reporter since 2007. She has extensively reported from war zones including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, and Latin America investigates global conflicts, war crimes and terrorism around the world. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @holliesmckay



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