UK and France call for united stance against violent extremism

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By Tokunbo Salako
UK and France call for united stance against violent extremism

The French president has declared an end to the country’s state of emergency but vowed not to relent in the fight against violent extremism.

In a key speech to security chiefs, Emmanuel Macron said the effectiveness of tough measures was no longer clear so it will be lifted on November 1. It was imposed in November 2015 after the Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

He praised intelligence agencies for foiling 13 attacks since the start of the year and made clear a new counter-terrorism law will give police greater powers.

Macron also called on other European states to follow suit: “We (EU) are too slow to provide an adequate and fully coordinated response to the threat. France, along with the United Kingdom, has taken the initiative in the fight against jihadist propaganda on the internet and we will maintain this pressure, we will increase it vis-à-vis the main operators (Internet) but that I consider insufficient. “

Sentiments shared by Britain’s spy chief, Andrew Parker, who also warned the country is now facing its most severe terror threat. Andrew Parker said “brilliant technological advances” mean it’s increasingly difficult to track new threats because they are evolving at fantastic speed.

“An unintended side effect is that these advances also aid the terrorists, whether it’s the ease of online purchasing, social media content or encrypted communications,” said Parker.

The rare public comments by Parker, come as pressure mounts on MI5 to show its effectiveness in the wake of recent attacks.

The spy chief insisted that 20 plots had been foiled in the last four years, including seven in the last few months.