~ Alleged jihadist Rafaa on the run ~
MARIGOT–Member of Parliament (MP) Daniel Gibbs, who is also the Territorial Secretary for the “Republicans” Federation in St. Martin, expressed dismay at the news alleged jihadist Rachid Rafaa escaped from house arrest in Martinique and has been on the run since July 27.
Rafaa (40) is a computer specialist and suspected of having links to Aqmi, the Islamist branch of Al Qaeda, but thought not capable of a suicide attack according to authorities.
Gibbs called on the French government to strengthen its resolve in fighting terrorism not only in France, but also in the overseas territories.
Based on alerts from Interpol and authorities in the Caribbean Community Caricom, he called on the population of St. Martin to be extremely vigilant. The day may have already arrived where a would-be terrorist is seeking safe harbour in another Caribbean island, he suggested.
“France is a country at war with terror and hate and with enemies of democracy” he said. “As President of the Republican Party Nicolas Sarkozy pointed out these are individuals who have a blatant disregard for faith and the law. It’s why I am urging the French government to fight terrorism more decisively and more courageously.
“President François Hollande and his government must resolve diplomatic and security issues. How can France, having relations with Morocco, refuse to extradite a Moroccan national based on the pretext that he would be tortured in his own country? This sends a confusing message and weakens the diplomatic legitimacy of our country. Secondly, he must resolve security issues for all French citizens who feel threatened by jihadism, and in the overseas territories.”
Gibbs said he asked the President of the French Republic to seriously consider dialogue with the Republican Party, and to implement strong and firm proposals for a law strengthening the fight against terrorism.
“As a reminder, the Republicans advocate legislation more suited to a state of war that we are currently experiencing. These stronger measures state that prisoners convicted of terrorism cannot benefit from developments or reductions in automatic penalties; any foreigner who has connections, direct or indirect, with a terrorist group will be expelled; all suspects are to be placed in a centre of detention, including French nationals.
“We can no longer hide behind the socialist policies of François Hollande and his government. The recent attacks on France have plunged the country into turmoil and the only way forward is a much stronger plan of action against terrorism.”
Source: Daily Herald
Gibbs urges French government to take stronger action against terrorism