A man who was once placed on France’s terror watch list has been accepted into their police force, despite the concerns about his behavior and associations.
The unidentified Frenchman was placed on the terror watch list as a known radical Islamist in 2012, after showing signs of having been radicalized to extremist Islam.
French intelligence service DGSI kept him under surveillance for years after it was alerted to his suspicious conduct, according to the French news site, RTL.
However, while still under surveillance, the unidentified, potential terrorist applied to join the French armed forces and was rejected.
He then decided to join the French police force which accepted him, despite the fact he was under watch and with the DGSI having reportedly received significant intelligence about his behavior. The agency even forwarded his details to the interior minister, who supervises the police, RTL reported.
The suspected terrorist-in-training was first hired as an adjoint de securité, which is reportedly not quite a police officer. The position can involve patrolling the streets and administrative duties. He was kept under surveillance in the role, and once security forces felt certain he wasn’t involved in any kind of terrorist plotting, he was allowed to train to become a fully-qualified police officer.
On Sep. 22, he reportedly completed his training and has since been removed from the terror watch list.
A new anti-terrorism law, which goes into effect on Nov. 1, will ensure that in the future, strict background checks will be made on anyone recruited into the police, customs, and security forces.
Last year, a leaked memo reportedly revealed that commanding officers for the Paris police force were concerned by the behavior of 17 junior-ranking officers, four of whom had converted to Islam, leading to fears of radicalization within the force.
About one-third of the cases involved women, and four of the cases involved officers who had converted to Islam. None of the cases involved high-ranking officers.
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