France's defense minister says more than 10,000 troops will be deployed across the country by Tuesday. European governments are reviewing security measures following last week’s terror attacks that killed 17 people in France.
Speaking to French broadcaster BFMTV, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the country “must not let down its guard” because the security threat to France is “still present.”
He says the highest level of France’s terror alert system is being maintained.
The 10,000 troops due to be deployed by Tuesday is the first time so many have been deployed in the country. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve said nearly 5,000 security force troops would be tasked with protecting the country's more than 700 Jewish schools.
"The French state right now is most anxious to avoid a repeat of the attacks," said Shaun Gregory, an international securities expert at Britain’s Durham University. "I think at this moment therefore putting extra troops on the ground, perhaps rolling up a few plots earlier than they would like to have done. That kind of thing I think is inevitable right now."
Kerry to travel to Paris
Also Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced he will travel to France on Thursday and Friday for talks on countering extremist violence. He said U.S. intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are coordinating with French investigators.
The top diplomat told reporters that he and President Barack Obama had been "deeply engaged" with French authorities since the first attack in Paris last week.
Responding to criticism over U.S. representation at a rally in the French capital Sunday that drew presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs from around the world, Kerry told reporters on Monday that a scheduled official visit to India precluded him from other travel.
Ambassador to France Jane Hartley was the top U.S. official at the event.
Washington admitted Monday it erred in not sending a top official to attend a solidarity rally in France following last week's terror attacks in Paris.
At a news conference, White House spokesman Josh Earnest backpedaled on the decision to have U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley and the State Department's top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, as the highest-ranking American officials to join scores of world leaders Sunday alongside French President Francois Hollande.
"I think it's fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there," said Earnest.
Britain to update police protocols
In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron met with security chiefs Monday and discussed how the attacks in Paris would impact the training of British police and security services, but the terror threat level - which is currently at “severe” - remains unchanged.
Britain will intensify efforts to stop cross-border arms smuggling and update its security protocols, Prime Minister David Cameron's office said on Monday.
International securities expert Shaun Gregory says the troop deployment in France may prevent attacks in the immediate future. But he says European governments are also reconsidering long term solutions to tackling terrorism.
“There is a great deal of cross-channel cooperation necessary because obviously these days jihadis are very mobile and they take inspiration and training and so-on from each other,” he said.
Need for closer cooperation
Sunday, French Interior Minister Cazaneuve said his European counterparts had agreed to boost cooperation to tackle militant attacks.
They met shortly before more than three-and-a-half million people took to the streets in France to show solidarity with the victims of last week’s attacks.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among more than 40 world leaders who attended the march alongside French President Francois Hollande.
Around the world, cities hosted their own demonstrations on Sunday: In Washington, around 3,000 people gathered for a silent march; in Australia several hundred people gathered in Sydney’s Martin Place; and in London major landmarks were lit in the red, white, and blue colors of the french flag, as more than 1,000 marched through Trafalgar Square.
Tracking gunman's partner
Meanwhile, a Turkish news agency has aired security camera footage from an Istanbul airport that reportedly shows Hayat Boumeddien, the girfriend of French terror suspect Amedy Coulibaly, entering the country.
The 26-year-old is sought by French authorities in connection with last week’s three-day terror spree in Paris.
French authorities initially said she was in a Paris kosher supermarket when Coulibaly fatally shot four hostages on January 9. But Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying Boumeddiene flew to Turkey from Madrid on January 2, and crossed into Syria on January 8.
In the video, the woman is seen approaching a passport control desk at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, with a male companion at her side.
The Associate Press reports an anonymous high-ranking Turkish official confirmed the video was of Boumeddiene. Her whereabouts have been under question.
Coulibaly was an associate of Islamic militant brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, the pair who began the attacks last Wednesday by killing 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo. French police killed all three men.