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Viewing cable 09PARIS1426, FRANCE: SCENESETTER FOR FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER,S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARIS1426 2009-10-22 15:03 2010-11-30 16:04 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1426/01 2951558
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221558Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7399
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 001426 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/22/2019 
TAGS: PREL PTER PGOV FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE: SCENESETTER FOR FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER,S 
VISIT 

Classified By: Classified by Pol M/C Allegrone for Reasons 1.4 b and d. 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Embassy Paris welcomes the visit of FBI 
Director Mueller. The timing of this first trip is ideal, 
with our bilateral relationship at its highest point in fifty 
years. You will find your interlocutors energized by the 
President,s visits to Paris and Normandy and they look 
forward to getting a sense of your strategy for the next 
year, and will want to know how they and other like-minded 
European states can contribute to the success of your 
efforts. END SUMMARY. 

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR 
-------------------- 
2. (SBU) The Ministry of Interior directs a civilian force of 
146,000 national police who operate with a force of 99,509 
national gendarmes to maintain internal security. Sarkozy 
merged the two primary internal intelligence agencies, 
Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) and 
Renseignements Gnraux (RG), in May 2008 to form a French 
equivalent to the FBI. The goals of the merger include 
removing interagency competition detrimental to France,s 
counter-terrorism efforts, increasing operational capability, 
and phasing out redundancies. Foreign intelligence agencies 
now have a single internal intelligence interlocutor in 
France, that should increase and simplify cooperation. The 
organization is led by Bernard Squarcini, former deputy 
director of the RG, and close friend of President Sarkozy. A 
working group at the directorate general of the national 
police has been meeting regularly to work out the new 
structure of the merged intelligence service, including its 
jurisdiction, size, and missions. The media reports that the 
RG will no longer monitor public opinion, union activities, 
and social conflicts, but details of on-the-ground changes in 
responsibilities remain unknown. Frdric Pchenard, 
director-general of the French national police is overseeing 
the merger. 

COUNTER-TERRORISM 
----------------- 
3. (SBU) France is one of a number of major European 
countries combating terrorism at home and abroad, although it 
has not suffered a significant terrorist incident in recent 
years. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) poses a 
considerable threat to French interests, underscored by 
statements made by al-Qaida senior leadership or AQIM itself. 
Local Corsican separatists, Basque Fatherland and Liberty 
(ETA) members and ultra-left anarchist factions have been 
responsible for the majority of recent attacks and arrests of 
individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activities 
or membership of groups deemed terrorist. The number and 
violence of ETA and Corsican attacks in France have continued 
to drop, but France is at once a target as well as a 
potential staging area for international Islamic terrorist 
groups, including Kurdistan Workers party affiliates. France 
remains on high alert and recognizes its continuing status as 
a target of AQIM and of other extremist groups in France and 
abroad. 

4. (SBU) Loic Garnier was appointed in June to succeed 
Christophe Chaboud as the head of the Ministry of Interior,s 
Unite de Coordination de la Lutte Anti-Terroriste (UCLAT). 
Superintendant Garnier was formerly chief of the criminal 
brigade, the elite unit of the judicial police in Paris. 

RADICALISM 
---------- 
5. (SBU) In addition to undertaking operations to arrest and 
prosecute terrorists, France continued programs to address 
radicalization and extremism through the use of social and 
economic incentives to reduce the susceptibility of at risk 
populations. 

DOMESTIC POLITICS 
----------------- 
6. (C) Now approaching the midpoint of his five year term, 
President Sarkozy is comfortably riding the momentum 
generated by a successful showing in last June's European 
Parliament elections that weakened the UMP's primary 
opponent, the Socialist Party. With the opposition in 
disarray, Sarkozy hopes to extend his political power base by 
scoring big in upcoming regional council elections in March 
2010. Regional elections will be an important snapshot of 
his presidency at mid-term, and the relative strength of 
French political parties before the presidential and 
legislative elections in 2012. In recent months, Sarkozy and 
his majority UMP party have concentrated on joining forces 
with a number of small political parties from across the 
political spectrum to ensure his reelection. Sarkozy has 
sought to lead on security and immigration issues, an issue 
that brought him considerable notoriety during his tenure as 
Minister of Interior under President Chirac. 

Anti-immigration sentiment has been a rallying cry for the 
extremist National Front. 

MILITARY ISSUES 
--------------- 
7. (SBU) In conjunction with specific gendarmes units used 
for military operations, the army is responsible for external 
security under the Ministry of Defense. France currently has 
over 3,000 troops actively participating in operations in 
Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom. The current 
French commitment includes ground troops and air assets. 
There is growing media discussion in France about the 
McChrystal report, which advocates additional troops for 
Afghanistan, and the Obama administration,s review of 
policy. However, Sarkozy used an October 15/16 interview 
with Le Figaro (focused on domestic issues and designed to 
shore up his base), to state that France would send ¬ one 
additional soldier8 to Afghanistan, although there may be 
room for increased civilian engagement, especially if the 
Afghan government is able to restore legitimacy in the wake 
of the troubled August 20 elections. Unlike several other 
significant European troop contributors through ISAF, the 
French do not have overly restrictive rules of engagement and 
have been a strong ally in the field. (Note: the 
&European8 gendarme force Sarkozy proposed last spring will 
finally begin to arrive in Afghanistan in December.) 

DATASHARE 
--------- 
8. (U) We do not have an agreement with France for Preventing 
and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC). The French have 
generally pointed to their privacy laws as an impediment. 
The U.S. side has countered that our privacy laws are similar 
and not a bar to enhanced datashare. The draft text of an 
Agreement was shared with the French Ministry of Interior in 
July 2009. U.S. Embassy Paris also transmitted a Diplomatic 
Note to the French Foreign Ministry in August 2009 requesting 
that in-depth discussions on both a PCSC Agreement and an 
HSPD-6 agreement concerning terrorist watchlist data begin as 
soon as possible. Despite the difficulties of getting 
negotiations underway, U.S. law enforcement officials 
describe cooperation with their French Government 
counterparts as very good within the context of French 
privacy restrictions. 

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS 
---------------------- 
9. (SBU) The constitution and law prohibit trafficking in 
persons for all purposes. However, trafficking in women and 
children for commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, 
and petty crime is a problem. Prostitution is legal. 
However, the law prohibits procuring, aiding, assisting, 
maintaining, publicly soliciting, or profiting from the 
prostitution of another individual. Enforcement of these 
laws varied, and criminal activity related to prostitution 
remained a problem. The country was a destination for 
victims, primarily trafficked from Africa (notably Cameroon 
and Nigeria), Central and Eastern Europe (notably Bulgaria 
and Romania), the former Soviet Union, and increasingly Asia 
(notably China), for prostitution and domestic servitude. A 
majority of the estimated 18,000 women in the country,s 
commercial sex trade were likely victims of trafficking. 
Traffickers operated principally in small criminal networks 
characterized as µ-trafficking networks8 that included 
both citizens and foreigners. They used various methods to 
recruit and retain victims including force, fraud, 
identification document confiscation, cultural isolation, and 
physical and psychological abuse. Several law enforcement 
agencies were involved in combating trafficking. The 
government cooperated bilaterally and with international 
institutions such as the European Police Agency (Europol) to 
investigate, track, and dismantle trafficking networks, 
initiating more than 500 court cases for soliciting and 
dismantling over 23 pimping networks in 2008. Authorities 
worked with officials in other countries, particularly source 
countries, to counter trafficking and identified 822 victims 
during the year. 

COUNTRY CONDITIONS 
------------------ 
10. (U) France is a first-world western democracy with a 
varied economy and one of the most diverse populations in 
Western Europe. At least 20% of the French population of 
approximately 65 million people has either a parent or a 
grandparent who is or was not originally French. Most 
European migrants who arrived before about 1970 have 
integrated fairly effectively into French life; however, more 
recent migrants and their families, many from the former 
French colonies, have not been able to find a place in French 
society as readily. Although there are no official 
statistics, fully ten percent of France,s population is 
Muslim, which have helped inform the country,s developed and 

nuanced views from the Middle East Peace Process to 
assimilation of minority populations. France continues to be 
an asylum destination for immigrants attracted by France's 
relatively generous social security, welfare and education 
systems. Many migrants remain in France "without papers" to 
work illegally (estimates range from 300,000 to 400,000 
clandestine residents in 2008). The Government of France has 
responded with a combination of integration and enforcement 
measures. 

11. (U) The worldwide economic crisis has increased the 
unemployment rate to 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 
2008. High unemployment among the young (especially 
undereducated young men of foreign origin), public tensions 
among those of different social and ethnic groups, and 
inadequate low-income housing all contribute to political, 
social, and economic criticism of the Sarkozy administration. 

Good luck with your travels in the region. We look forward 
to welcoming you again to Paris. 

Best regards, 

RIVKIN