French police arrested 12 people last night and in the early hours of this morning in the Paris region in relation to the attacks last week that claimed 17 lives.
The nine men and three women were taken into custody on suspicion of providing logistical support, the Interior Ministry said today. France remains on the highest alert and has deployed 122,000 police and soldiers across the country to protect schools, train stations, cultural buildings and other sensitive sites, the ministry said.
“The government and all public authorities are acting with determination to ensure security and stepping up the anti-terrorist fight,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at a news conference in Paris.
Police across Europe are cracking down in the wake of last week’s shootings, the deadliest assault in France in more than 50 years. Belgian police said late Thursday they killed two terrorists and foiled a major attack, while German authorities arrested arrested two people in Berlin on suspicion of planning violence in Syria.
The arrests in France occurred in towns around Paris, and all were related to Amedy Coulibaly, according to a French police official. Police say Coulibaly fatally shot a police officer in a Paris suburb Jan. 8, then took hostages at kosher grocery store in the capital the next day, killing four of them.
The DNA of one of those arrested was found on a weapon used by Coulibaly, said the official, who asked not to be identified in line with government policy.
Two other gunmen, the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, stormed into the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, killing 12 people. The three self-proclaimed Islamist gunmen were killed in almost-simultaneous assaults by the police on Jan. 9.