Transcript for French Ambassador: France 'Very Likely' To Face Other Terrorist Attempts
And we are joined now by the French ambassador to the united States Gerard araud. Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining us this morning. Our condolences for the loss of your French citizens. We're all feeling it here, as well. Several days out now as those marchers gather in Paris, has French intelligence been able to determine with any greater specificity if there were any direct terror links between the gunmen and aqap or Isis? Good morning. First, I want to say that we have been overwhelmed by the expression of grief, of solidarity of all the Americans, you know, from the president of the United States who came to the French embassy to the ordinary American. It's really the American people who are a compassionate people, indeed. What we -- at this stage, you know, what we know is that actually the two killers on one side, the two brothers on the other side, the guy who attacked the grocery, the kosher grocery shop actually were linked in France and one of them said that they had organized their attack, they synchronized their attack, but at this stage of the investigation, it's too early to go beyond that. And president Hollande has said that the French have actually thwarted several possible attacks in the last several weeks and months. Are you now concerned that there are actually active sleeper cells being activated? Is this threat level continuing? You know, we have to consider the threat that we are facing. You have in Europe thousands of young radicals, thousands of them, and, of course, we are a democracy, and you don't arrest somebody because of his ideas. We have in France hundreds of young people who came to Syria or who came to Yemen and who are getting their military training, so it's a very, very specific threat because we don't know when these people are coming back and whether they are coming back, and we don't know whether these radical people are going suddenly to become terrorists. So, for the moment, I don't, you know -- it's simply -- it's very likely, unfortunately, that we are going to face other attempts of terrorist acts. The president of the French republic has said, we are not over with it. And all of us, the europeans, but also the Americans, when president Obama came to the French embassy, he told me, he said, we are all vulnerable. So what do you do? As you point out, these thousands of young men, some women potentially, as well, are woven into the fabric of your society. Your prime minister says you are at war with radical Islam. How do you prevent this war from being a war against Islam? I think, you know, we need a global strategy. On one side there is the military response in Iraq and in Yemen. We need information sharing. Actually the French and the Americans, we are working quite well, but I guess we can improve it. We need working on law enforcement, and eventually we need to work with the Muslim countries and the Muslim people because they're on the front line of this crisis, the front line because they are the first victims and they are also the breeding ground of the crisis. So I guess that the idea of having a summit in Washington in February, which has been announced by the attorney general, is a very good idea, because, you know, in a sense France was not attacked as France. France was attacked as a western democracy, and it could have happened everywhere in Europe and, unfortunately, I guess also in the U.S. If aqap in Yemen was tied to this attack, if Isis and Syria was tied to this attack, will France attack those groups in those countries? Well, as you know, we are already actually fighting with the Americans in Iraq against isil. The French are also fighting against Al Qaeda in the islamic maghreb, so we are doing our job with our western friends and our U.S. Friends, and as the prime minister said, if necessary, we'll strike back still more. Mr. Ambassador, thanks very much for your time this morning.
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