France to spend $US 45.5 million to create regional ‘de-radicalization’ centres



PARIS: France will create centres in each region of the country to de-radicalize people or prevent them from being involved in jihadist groups, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday, as he laid out new anti-terror measures. “The fight against jihadism is without doubt the big challenge of our generation,” he said, flanked by the interior and justice ministers.

The plan, which will cost an additional $US 45.5 million by 2018 on top of the current funding, aims to double existing efforts to try to help people already in jihadist networks or those likely to join such groups.

Valls said the first de-radicalization centre could be set up by this summer.

The measures are a response to the deaths of 147 people in jihadist attacks in France in 2015.

Jihadist gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, satirical newspaper, and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015, killing 17 people, and then 130 people were killed in coordinated attacks on the capital claimed by the Islamic State group last November.

Both sets of attacks were carried out mainly by French citizens who had become radicalized and fought abroad alongside jihadist groups.

The authorities consider nearly 10,000 people in France to be radicalized and capable of violent actions, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

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