France announced sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism today, and one set of numbers is getting a lot of play: In an intelligence agent hiring spree, the country will hire some 2,600 counter-terrorism officers, 1,100 of them specifically for intelligence services. Anti-terror surveillance is needed for 3,000 people with ties to France—some at home, others abroad. Other measures detailed by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who says France will spend $490 million over the next three years for all the counter-terror efforts:
- Increased intelligence-gathering on jihadis and other radicals, in part by making it easier to tap phones. Valls said Internet providers and social networks "have a legal responsibility under French law" to comply with the new measures. A leading civil liberties group, La Quadrature du Net, said Valls' proposals "presage a new retreat of civil liberties on the Internet."
- Since three police were among those killed by the Paris terrorists, the prime minister said improving officers' weapons and protective gear was among the top priorities.
- He also announced measures related to hiring new officers to counter prison radicalization and segregating those prisoners who are already radicalized.
The measures came as four men were handed preliminary charges of providing logistical support to one of the Paris terror attackers—the first charges issued for three days of mayhem that left 20 people dead, including three gunmen. Three of the men are suspected of buying weapons for Amedy Coulibaly
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