France considers steppingup surveillance at borders

1st August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 1 (AFP) - France is looking at stepping up surveillance at its borders after a prime suspect in the failed London bombings on July 21 managed to traverse the country despite a Europe-wide alert for him, Transport Minister Dominique Perben said Monday.

PARIS, Aug 1 (AFP) - France is looking at stepping up surveillance at its borders after a prime suspect in the failed London bombings on July 21 managed to traverse the country despite a Europe-wide alert for him, Transport Minister Dominique Perben said Monday.

"That a man leaves Great Britain, goes across France and makes it to Italy by getting around all our system of checks requires us to think about our border surveillance system. This is what the French government is working on," Perben said.

Last Friday, Italian authorities announced they had arrested Hamdi Isaac, also known as Osman Hussain, who was one of four men suspected in the bungled July 21 attack. The other three suspects were already behind bars in London.

According to the Italian interior ministry, Isaac, 27, left London July 26 on a Eurostar train to Paris, a service where passengers are subjected to French police passport checks before boarding.

British police had issued an alert for Isaac but had made it out in the name of Osman Hussain only, and the photograph they gave featured a beard that the suspect had shaved before travelling on the train.

France's interior ministry is preparing a new anti-terror law that would allow French officials to inspect passengers' travel documents on all international trains entering and leaving the country, regardless of jurisdictional considerations.

"We have to take into account the lessons from the attacks and underline the importance of the video surveillance in place in the airports" around Paris, said Perben during a visit to inspect security measures at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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