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16 Jan, 2016 14:21

Jihadists could pose as homeless people to launch Paris metro terror attacks – French politicians

Jihadists could pose as homeless people to launch Paris metro terror attacks – French politicians

A report published by two French senators reveals their fears that Islamist jihadists could look to blend in with the homeless population on the Paris metro to carry out terrorist attacks on the French capital’s transport system.

Politicians Alain Fouche and Francois Bonhomme believe that the Paris metro system could be a weak spot in trying to make the capital more secure.

"Terrorists can get in by blending with the homeless people who sleep in the metro at night, then seize the opportunity to carry out any number of attacks," they wrote, as reported by The Local.

An estimated 300 people homeless people sleep on the Paris transport system each night. Rather than turf them onto the streets, the politicians believe the best option would be to give those sleeping rough on the Paris Metro priority in being rehoused.

However, the pair added that if a solution cannot be found, then security at the Paris metro will have to be stepped up, either through a greater police presence or more CCTV cameras.

France is currently in a three-month state of emergency following a series of devastating terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people on November 13.

Security checks have been stepped up on the country’s transportation system, which has seen more checks on luggage and passengers.

In December, 70 workers at Paris airports, who were suspected of being radical Islamists, had their security passes revoked. They were employed at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports and the action was taken after investigating around 4,000 workers in an attempt to identify potential terrorists.

"Nearly 70 red badges were withdrawn after the attacks, mainly for cases of radicalization," Augustin de Romanet, the chief executive of ADP, the company that runs the two Paris airports, told French media.

Red badges are given to employees working in secure zones of the airports, for instance as baggage handlers, aircraft cleaners and suppliers.

Meanwhile, in August, 2015, a gunman injured two people on a high-speed train bound for Paris. The attacker, who had previously travelled to Syria, was carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol with ammo and a box cutter.

However, he was unable to put his weapons to use due to being overpowered by the passengers, with two people being wounded in the struggle.