After a worrying terrorist attack in Arras and after everything that is happening in the Middle East, France is taking extraordinary measures to guarantee security at a time when security is seen for its absence in the country of France. The French Government has announced it will deploy up to 7,000 Sentinel force soldiers to the territory. This decision was made after the killing of a teacher who was stabbed in front of a secondary school in Arras by a young man under surveillance for radicalization. President Emmanuel Macron chaired a security meeting at the Elysée in response to the attack, where the decision was made to mobilize these additional security forces.
France raised its alert level to “state of emergency”, which is the highest level of the Vigipirate system, allowing the extraordinary mobilization of resources in a limited time. The move comes amid growing concern over the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Vigipirate newsletter emphasized that this action was taken in a “time of high exposure”, as it coincided with the Rugby World Cup and the war in the Middle East.
The Arras attack also coincided with the commemoration of the assassination of Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher who was beheaded in 2020 for displaying caricatures of Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of expression. Operation Sentinel, involving the Force of the same group, was first implemented in 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.
The suspect in the Arras attack, Mohammed Mogouchkov, was recently monitored by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI). He was detained on Thursday for a security check before being released. The event sparked calls from the political right to declare a “state of emergency”, while the far-right pointed to “flaws” in the system and called for the resignation of the Interior Minister.