French minister: No need for post-attacks intel overhaul

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PARIS (AP) – France’s interior minister said Friday that he doesn’t see a need for a drastic overhaul of counterterrorism and intelligence services, despite security failures before Islamic extremist attacks on Paris last year.

Members of a French parliamentary commission investigating the attacks made 40 proposals this week to prevent future violence, including a centralized counterterrorism agency. They found that several attackers had slipped past authorities’ radar because of intelligence failures.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that French intelligence has already undergone recent changes and doesn’t need “a perpetual reform movement” unless there is “a guaranteed improvement in effectiveness.” He said he will discuss ideas with victims’ groups on Tuesday, when the parliamentary investigation report is released publicly.

Attacks on Paris in January and November of 2015 killed 147 people.

Separately, Dutch authorities said two men were arrested on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization with links to a Frenchman held in Paris in March for planning an attack in the French capital.

Prosecutors said in a statement Friday that “police arrested two men Wednesday in Rotterdam in connecting with the discovery of 45 kilograms of ammunition in March” during a police raid.

The men, who weren’t identified beyond their ages of 30 and 32, were ordered to remain in custody for two weeks by a judge Friday on suspicion on belonging to a terrorist organization. The prosecutor’s office added that a bag of ammunition found in the March raid had fingerprints of French suspect Reda Kriket.

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