Security forces detaining the suspect of the shooting on a Thays train at Arras train station in Arras, northern France Photo: EPA
French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest and fear there could be a missile strike on a passenger airliner or a September 11-style attack, according to sources close to French intelligence.
“Airlines have been warned of a possible attack on a plane with an anti-tank missile,” a source told The Telegraph. “But pilots are unsure how to take evasive action.”
After Friday’s thwarted attempt to massacre passengers on an Amsterdam-Paris train and a series of terrorist attacks and attempted killings in France this year, President François Hollande warned the nation to prepare for more violence, considered inevitable as the Islamist threat grows.
The army has made contingency plans for the “reappropriation of national territory”, meaning to win back control of neighbourhoods where the population become hostile to the security forces and where guns are easily obtainable, according to the source.
“There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely,” the source said.
“The idea that attacks like the one on the train are carried out by individuals acting on their own is not credible. We’re dealing with highly-organised networks of militant Islamists embarked on a campaign of violence and determined to intensify it.”
Kalashnikov automatic rifles -- used by the train gunman and Islamist terrorists who killed 17 people in Paris in January -- and anti-tank missiles are now obtainable in France. Many were smuggled in from the former Yugoslavia after the Balkan wars in the 1990s. More weapons have come in from Libya, the sources said, adding that organised crime and terrorist groups were working together to procure them...