It is 3 p.m. this Thursday, October 29, when the churches of France sound the death knell. The “bell of the deceased” pays homage. Everywhere, she reminds us that “once again, our country has been hit by an Islamist terrorist attack”, in the words of Emmanuel Macron. The tears crying Samuel Paty, this teacher beheaded on October 16 for having taught freedom of expression to the college students of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, are not dry that a bloody attack mourns the country again. Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), struck for the third time in a handful of years, is counting its dead. They are three, a sacristan and two faithful who came to pray in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption. They too were brutally murdered. This time, “it is the freedom of worship and, beyond that, the freedom of conscience which are attacked”, underlines the Prime Minister, Jean Castex.
Early morning, place Beauvau. For the second time in less than fifteen days, Emmanuel Macron, Jean Castex, but also ministers Eric Dupond-Moretti (Justice) and Florence Parly (Defense) converge on the interministerial crisis unit activated by Gérald Darmanin (Interior). “The climate is always heavy in this kind of context. But there, there was a very special atmosphere, like a screed of lead. When the attacks are repeated, that you have to be on several fronts at the same time, the capacity for resilience is a little shaken, ”says a government adviser.
“Very clearly, it is France which is under attack”
Emmanuel Macron goes on site at midday. “After the assassination of Father Hamel in the summer of 2016, it is once again the Catholics who are attacked in our country, threatened”, he declares from Nice. Surrounded by the Ministers of the Interior and of Justice, he promises them that “the whole Nation stands by their side so that their religion can continue to be exercised freely. “As All Saints’ Day approaches, Sunday, and while Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the Head of State insists:” Our country is that. These are our values: that everyone can believe or not believe, but that each religion can be exercised. “
VIDEO. Nice attack: “We are going to protect churches and schools”
The alert had been at its highest since Sunday. Explicit calls “to commit actions targeting our country” had been identified by the Ministry of the Interior. Instructions were then passed to the police and prefects to strengthen vigilance measures. “The concordance of the trial of the January 2015 attacks, the republication of the cartoons and the international tension (Editor’s note: strong tensions in several Muslim countries, ranging from demonstrations to boycott of French products) fact that the risk is very high, ”confirms Place Beauvau.
“Very clearly, it is France which is under attack”, supports Emmanuel Macron in Nice, noting: “At the same time, we had a French consular site which was attacked, in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah. “And as outrage spread across the world after this new attack, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote on Twitter that” Muslims have the right to be angry and to kill millions de Français ”- a message then deleted by the social network.
“Reassure, reassure, reassure”
Against these threats, the Head of State again opposes these words: “We will not give in to it”. Once again, the French are in awe. Once again, the Republicans and the National Rally are increasing the pressure, adopting a warlike tone until calls to bypass the rule of law. One of the president’s relatives said, he must “reassure, reassure, reassure”. ” There is no fatality. There is no question of giving up, the commitment of a strong Republic, which keeps its promises, remains more topical than ever, ”insists those around him. But how to reassure, precisely, when the tragedies repeat themselves?
In the immediate term, the decision was taken to take the Vigipirate plan to the highest level of “emergency bombing”. “We will move from mobilization as part of Operation Sentinel from 3,000 to 7,000 soldiers on our soil,” argues Emmanuel Macron, referring to the protection of places of worship, but also of schools in view of the start of the school year on Monday.
Instructions are also passed to the prefects, via a telegram from the Minister of the Interior, “to show increased vigilance in order to prevent any act that could be committed by imitation”. But also to alert “elected officials so that they mobilize their municipal police and their video protection devices”. And to make contact “with all those responsible for places of worship to identify the most sensitive sites”.
The Head of State assured it from Nice, the Defense Council this Friday will also act “new measures”. Answers on how he intends to fight what one of his relatives describes as “a long-term battle”.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr