PARIS — Police believe as many as six terror-cell members may still be at large after the Paris attacks, one of whom has been spotted driving a car registered to the widow of one of the slain attackers.
Two French police officials told The Associated Press on Monday that authorities are searching the Paris area for the Mini Cooper car registered to the widow, Hayat Boumeddiene.
Turkish officials say she is now in Syria.
Earlier Monday, confronting a nation still in shock, the French authorities began to unveil a broad array of measures to send thousands of soldiers and police officers to guard Jewish schools and other sites, reinforce electronic surveillance and reach into schools and prisons that have a reputation as crucibles of jihadist recruitment.
The display of muscle by a government likely to face mounting questions about its failure to prevent the killings recalled the mood in the United States after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when authorities embarked on a broad front of measures to tighten security and provide legislation for more intrusive surveillance.
The French response played into an emerging and potentially divisive debate across Europe that pits civil liberties campaigners against the demands of security officials who cite the attacks as evidence of an urgent need to introduce stronger powers to monitor suspects.
And it comes as a time when the United States is engaged in intense soul-searching, touched off in part by the release of a searing Senate report on the torture of terrorism suspects, over whether it turned itself into a garrison state after Sept. 11, 2001.
Seeking to reassure citizens, the French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said Monday that 10,000 soldiers would be deployed by Tuesday evening, in what he called “the first mobilization on this scale on our territory.”
The military deployment reflected the country’s readiness to commit its armed forces to resist Islamic militants within and beyond its borders. French aircraft have joined the U.S.-led air campaign in Iraq, and roughly 3,000 French soldiers are deployed in Africa in efforts to counter extremist groups in countries like Chad and Mauritania.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke of new legislation to enhance surveillance powers to be readied “in three or four months” as part of what he “an exceptional response” to the attacks. He said there had been a major increase in the number of French people traveling to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist movements — a source of major concern, along with the power of the Internet to spread radical messages, for the authorities.
Indeed, one of the attackers last week, Amedy Coulibaly, said in a video on the Internet after his death that he had acted in the name of the Islamic State. His video seemed to seek to emulate the visual templates established by the Islamic State in depictions of beheadings.
Significantly, though, the French prime minister, quoted in Le Monde, stopped short of endorsing a French version of the Patriot Act, reflecting his country’s longstanding aversion to what has been depicted as overly draconian U.S. measures to protect national security.
Those concerns, however, predate last week’s attacks, which have forced France to contemplate its identity in an era when its commitment to personal liberty is challenged by its adversaries and when terrorism is increasingly defined as a homegrown threat by radicalized members of Europe’s largest Muslim community.
“The very idea of a war on terrorism is worrisome,” the journalists Jacques Follorou and Franck Johannès wrote in Le Monde. “For the law, there is nothing worse than these moments of intense unanimity, this wave of emotion that submerges rationality.” Once laws are enacted, it is difficult to reverse them, they wrote.
On Sunday, over 1 million people marched in central Paris to reject the jihadist cause and display defiance and unity across faiths and politics. President François Hollande and 40 global leaders joined them. But the attacks have also strengthened the increasingly powerful far right led by the National Front of Marine Le Pen, which has drawn strength from its opposition to long opposed radical Islam.
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, meanwhile, said on Monday that 4,700 police officers would be posted to guard the country’s 700 Jewish schools and other institutions after three days of bloodshed last week, when three assailants killed 17 people in attacks on targets including a satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, and a kosher supermarket.
All three attackers were killed in raids after police encircled them, but there is concern here that “the threat is still present,” as Le Drian put it. The prime minister, Valls, speaking to BFM television, said that one of the attackers, Coulibaly, “undoubtedly” had one or more accomplices, still at large.
Coulibaly, who took hostages in the supermarket on Friday, is suspected of having shot a police officer on Thursday. Four Jewish shoppers who were preparing for the Sabbath were killed in the attack.
Parts of his video appeared to have been produced by an accomplice after Coulibaly’s death, as they alluded to information that emerged only after he died when the police stormed the market.
Surrounded by heavily armed bodyguards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel arrived at the supermarket in a gesture of solidarity with French Jews on Monday. Many people waving Israeli flags gathered to cheer him, and some said they would seek to emigrate to Israel because they no longer felt safe in France.
Turkey’s state news agency on Monday quoted the country’s foreign minister as saying that Hayat Boumeddiene, thought to be Coulibaly’s companion, had entered Syria from Turkey on Thursday, the day before the kosher supermarket attack.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday that Boumeddiene had arrived in Turkey from Madrid on Jan. 2, and had stayed at a hotel in Istanbul.
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister, speaking to reporters after meeting in Berlin on Monday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, rejected as an “unjustified accusation” a suggestion that his country bore responsibility for the number of foreign jihadists who have been able to train in Syria by entering that country over the Turkish border.
Davutoglu said that Turkish intelligence services were cooperating with both their French and German counterparts.
“We were able to confirm this even before we were tipped off to anything,” Davutoglu said, speaking of Boumeddiene’s passage through Turkey. “I don’t know where else she was before Madrid. Can we accuse Spain or Turkey? Turkey is guilty because it has a border with Syria.”
Cazeneuve, the interior minister, said Sunday that the French government would seek greater authority to monitor the Internet for activity in support of terrorist or subversive activities.
Also on Sunday, Cameron, the British prime minister, told the BBC that he favored the introduction of “more comprehensive” powers of surveillance.
British intelligence and security chiefs briefed Cameron on Monday on the implications of the Paris attacks for the authorities in London, which was the site of coordinated attacks on July 7, 2005.
The participants at the meeting agreed to “step up our efforts with other countries to crack down on the illegal smuggling of weapons across borders,” a government spokesman said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in accordance with department rules. “The prime minister also asked the police and military to continue to work closely together to ensure that the police can call on appropriate military assistance when required across the country.”
At the Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis condemned the extremism behind the attacks, saying that religious fundamentalism “eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext.”
In his annual speech to diplomats accredited to the Holy See, the pope spoke of a “culture of rejection, which severs the deepest and most authentic human bonds, leading to the breakdown of society and spawning violence and death.”
“Losing their freedom, people become enslaved, whether to the latest fads or to power, money or even deviant forms of religion,” he added. “Violence is always the product of a falsification of religion, its use as a pretext for ideological schemes whose only goal is power over others.”
The pope also called on “religious, political and intellectual leaders, especially those of the Muslim community,” to “condemn all fundamentalist and extremist interpretations of religion which attempt to justify such acts of violence.”
Almost as a footnote, news reports over the weekend said that Mourad Hamyd, an 18-year-old who had been depicted as a third suspect in the shootings at Charlie Hebdo had been released without charge Friday night after schoolmates insisted on Twitter that he had been in class that day. He turned himself in on Wednesday at a police station in Charleville-Mézières, about 145 miles northeast of Paris, after seeing reports on social media that he was being sought by the police in connection with the shootings.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.