MP Georges Fenech, President, Parliamentary Special Commission of Enquiry on the Terrorist Attacks in France, French Parliament, France
Member of the French Parliament Georges Fenech explained the role he plays in the French Parliament as a leader in the counter-terrorism field and as part of the commission that investigated the Charlie Hebdo attacks. His commission advises the ministry of foreign affairs and intelligence agencies in France. He argued that coordination between the 19 intelligence agencies in France is necessary.
The commission proposed the creation of a national intelligence agency to improve coordination. He said that a lack of coordination has given terrorists the opportunity they needed to perpetrate the attacks. He pushed for the expanded use of EUROPOL to increase the sharing of intelligence information. He claimed that a lack of communication between European countries allowed for the 2015 attacks to occur. He claimed that France is the leader in civil liberties and freedom and that is why terrorist groups have targeted them. He purported that something between a democracy and a dictatorship is needed to maintain security in France. He helped create a tribunal of judges to try terrorists instead of having jurors. He claims that a weak democracy is a democracy that is going to die.
France passed new laws in 2014 that would not allow a person to leave France if he or she is considered a security risk. France also has a law that blocks websites related to terrorism. He said that laws have been changed or passed that give security agencies broader powers to search homes and businesses.
Fenech then went on to say that he supports the creation of a special court for terrorism and a department that specializes in terrorism affairs. He also supports the creation of a special detention center for suspected terrorists, in which each detention will be recommended by the Minister of the Interior and approved by a specialized judge.
Fenech concluded his speech by listing improvements that France needs to carry out in the future to combat terrorism, including making space for 20,000 more prisoners, create de-radicalization centers, as well as forming de-radicalization teams. He then noted the need to find a balance between security and maintaining the French society. He stressed that it is difficult to increase security and maintain the society that France is used to. Fenech argues that despite this difficulty security must be raised in order to avoid a conflict between France’s communities. He concluded his presentation by claiming that many in France confuse the 10 million Muslims living peacefully in France with the small Muslim minority that aims at destabilizing the nation, and stated that maintaining the balance between the peaceful communities is paramount.