All over France, from Toulouse in the south to Paris and beyond, the police have been breaking down doors, conducting searches without warrants, aggressively questioning residents, hauling suspects to police stations and putting others under house arrest.
The extraordinary steps are perfectly legal under the state of emergency decreed by the government after the attacks Nov. 13 in Paris that left 130 dead — a rare kind of mobilization that will continue. The French Parliament last week voted to extend the emergency for another three months, which means more warrantless searches, more interrogations, more people placed under house arrest.
There have been 1,072 police searches, 139 police interrogations, and 117 people have been placed in custody, the Interior Ministry said Monday. Those included a weekend raid on a restaurant selling halal burgers and Tex-Mex food in the Paris suburbs, where officers found nothing suspicious, after breaking down the doors.
Many of those being swept up are among the hundreds of French who have already been flagged as potential security threats in the notorious S-files of the security services.
The police are now free to pick up and interrogate suspects virtually at will.“