French PM says it will take “10-20 years” to eliminate terrorism

PARIS, June 15 (KUNA) — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday that it would take up to two decades to eradicate the terrorist threat here, warning again that France is “at war” in this context and this will last a generation.
Speaking on “France Inter” radio barely 36 hours after two police officers were assassinated by a self-proclaimed member of the so-called Islamic State (IS), Valls rejected any accusation of negligence or incompetence by security forces.
On Monday night, 25-year-old French national Larossi Abballa stabbed the two police officers, a couple, and took hostage their three-year-old child before he was shot dead by elite forces.
Abballa had served time in jail for terrorist-related activities, notably involvement in networks to send foreign fighters to Afghanistan via Pakistan and he also had a connection with a Syrian network, according to police sources and prosecutor statements.
He was normally monitored by intelligence and anti-terrorism services and his phone was bugged but there were apparently no indications he was about to take radical action and attack targets in France.
Abballa apparently only pledged allegiance to IS about three weeks ago and also declared his adherence to the Islamic extremist group in a video he published during the hostage-taking Monday.
The French Prime Minister defended intelligence and security services in the radio interview, saying, “I will not have it said that there was the smallest negligence on the part of our forces… (who) have my full confidence and that of the government.” He said that Aballa was “a lone wolf” and that this “profile is the most difficult to uncover”. (end) jk.hb