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Nearly 60 people suspected of Islamist radicalism have had their security clearances to work at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport revoked. The 86,000 individuals who have security permits allowing them to work in secure sites, including infrastructure facilities and airports, are to be re-examined. New criteria is to be added to the requirements for eligibility, including the “appreciation of radicalisation” as a contributing “problem in terms of security and safety.” These stringent measures were brought in following the January 2015 attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.
Philippe Riffaut, prefect of Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports, said in a press conference that since the January attacks 60 individuals have had their authorisation to work at the airports pulled. Following the 13 November attacks on Paris, at least five have been terminated from employment at the airports.
“Since the beginning of the year, there are 57 people who lost their authorization because of radicalization. There have been five since the [13 November] attacks,” he said.
He added that security sensitive workplaces across France are revising their security clearance policies in light of the developing terrorist threat. More suspension “will come,” he added.
To be employed in security sensitive installations in France, applicants must pass security screening conducted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Currently, there are 86,000 individuals with approved clearances. “The 86,000 work permits in the security area will be reviewed,” Riffaut said. The re-screenings will start with the “5,000 airport security personnel.
In a further move aimed at thwarting spreading radicalisation, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced the closure of three mosques. One of the mosques, located just 35 kilometres from Paris, was targeted by raids this Wednesday. Police seized a 9mm pistol and a computer hard disk with jihadist propaganda. The mosque also ran an unauthorised Koranic school. French Police have seized 334 weapons since the 13 November attacks, says Cazeneuve.