Paris, France. The Presidential election of France is almost at hand and given recent physical attacks on candidate Marine Le Pen’s headquarters, French police are no longer guessing at potential terror events, they are acting on the assumption they will occur.
Large numbers of police officers supported by military units will be deployed across France as the country goes to the polls this week to elect its next president.
French police have remained on high security alert since a terrorist attack in November 2015 killed 130 people and left hundreds injured. Just last year 86 people celebrating Bastille Day were killed when a truck was deliberately driven into a crowd in Nice, France also.
France’s Interior Minister Matthias Fekl announced that 50,000 officers will be mobilised across the 67,000 polling stations, where voters will cast their vote this weekend. The French election security plan also includes extra measures to tackle possible violence by extremists groups between the two rounds of the election on April 23 and May 7th.
France’s intelligence agency, the General Directorate for Internal Security, has warned the main candidates over “a specific threat on their security and on their campaign headquarters.” The warning comes only days after an alleged arson attack took place on the Marine Le Pen headquarters.
International security experts reported, snipers and elite law enforcement units were present during conservative Francois Fillon’s rally in Montpellier this weekend.
Emmanuel Macron’s team also confirmed that extra police officers had been deployed around his campaign headquarters and that “bomb disposal experts checked the venues ahead of each rally.”
The French preperations are not based only on threats, but the expectation of a “terrorist event” taking place, with the thought being better safe than sorry in terms of a robust response to conditions.