French Counter-Terrorism head discusses expulsions of Imams and airport security measures in leaked cable

Christophe Chaboud, the Ministry of Interior’s counter-terrorism coordinating chief discussed in 2006 the terrorist threat in France with the US embassy. He discussed two preventive measures in France: the deportation of imams and airport security.
Chaboud proudly touted the expulsion of 54 imams from France since 2001. The imams were expelled from France for allegedly preaching radical Islamic ideas. (Note: In at least one highly publicized case, an expelled imam told local media that the Koran sanctioned the submission of women through force.) Chaboud noted that while the majority of expelled imams were Algerian, a handful came from Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and “one or two Gulf countries.” He added that France was far ahead of other EU states, in particular the UK, in taking necessary action against foreign nationals who advocated “radical ideologies.” Another 12 imams are reportedly awaiting deportation.

Chaboud also commented upon the security measures which were taken at Charles De Gaulle’s airport:

After more than a year of investigation, UCLAT had concluded that at least 72 workers were vulnerable to exploitation because of their deep, and at least somewhat radical, religious convictions, Chaboud stated. He added that while they were not themselves terrorists, they appeared to be extreme enough in their comportment outside of work to lead authorities to conclude that they might aid or abet terrorists. Chaboud readily admitted that GOF authorities were creating new territory and that the judiciary had its own role to play, but he onetheless adamantly defended the recommendations that led to the revocation of security clearances. (Note: In the cases of 11 of the 72 employees who have filed legal grievances, the local Prefet voluntarily gave back security clearances to two individuals. A separate judgement has demanded that two others also be reinstated).

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