France will deploy 10,000 soldiers on home soil by Tuesday and post almost 5,000 extra police officers to protect Jewish sites after the killing of 17 people by Islamist militants in Paris last week, officials said.
Speaking a day after the biggest French public demonstration ever recorded, in honor of the victims, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the country remained at risk of further attacks. Soldiers would guard transport hubs, tourism sites and key buildings and mount general street patrols.
“The threats remain and we have to protect ourselves from them. It is an internal operation that will mobilize almost as many men as we have in our overseas operations,” Le Drian said after a Cabinet meeting.
The victims, including journalists and police, died in three days of violence that began Wednesday with an attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, known for mocking Islam and other religions. Many at Sunday’s march wore badges and carried placards declaring “Je suis Charlie” (“I Am Charlie”).
The Charlie Hebdo gunmen, two French-born brothers of Algerian origin, singled out the weekly for its publication of cartoons depicting and ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad.Charlie Hebdo’s remaining members are working on an eight-page issue due to come out Wednesday with a 1-million copy print run. Its lawyer, Richard Malka, told France Info radio there would be caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. “We will not give in. The spirit of ‘I am Charlie’ means the right to blaspheme,” he said, adding that the front page would be released Monday evening.
The three days of bloodshed ended Friday with a siege at a Jewish deli in Paris where four hostages and another gunman were killed. That gunman declared allegiance to ISIS and said he was acting in response to French military deployments against militant Islamist groups overseas.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 4,700 police officers would be placed at all 717 Jewish schools across the country in addition to some 4,100 gendarmes already deployed.
“Synagogues, Jewish schools, but also mosques will be protected because in the past few days there have been a number of attacks against mosques,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM TV.
France has the European Union’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities.
The first two attackers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi who traveled to Yemen in 2011 for training, were killed Friday after a siege northeast of the capital. Police said all three men were part of the same Paris-based Islamist cell.
About 1.5 million people marched in Paris Sunday and 2.5 million more in the provinces. The Paris march was led by President Francois Hollande and dozens of foreign leaders.
The coordinated assaults amounted to the deadliest attack by militant Islamists on a European city since four suicide bombers killed 52 in attacks on London’s transport system in 2005.
Valls said police were searching for likely accomplices of the French cell. The Turkish government confirmed that the female companion of the supermarket attacker had entered Syria on Jan. 8 from Turkey, having arrived in Istanbul several days before the killings.
After an emergency Cabinet meeting Monday to outline Britain’s response to the attacks, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to give security and intelligence services new powers to monitor Internet communications.
Britain will intensify efforts to stop cross-border arms smuggling after last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants in Paris and update its security protocols to deal with such incidents, Cameron’s office said.
“The risk posed by firearms, agreeing … that we should step up our efforts with other countries to crack down on the illegal smuggling of weapons across borders,” was also discussed, a spokesman for Cameron said.