France to get better guns, more agents to fight terror; 4 men charged with links to attacker

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PARIS (AP) — France has announced sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism.

The moves include giving security forces better weapons and protection, hiring 1,100 more intelligence agents and creating a better database of people suspected of extremist links. They also include increased intelligence-gathering on jihadis and other radicals, in part by making it easier to tap phones. Prime Minister Manuel Valls (vahlts) says surveillance is needed for 3,000 people with ties to France — some at home, others abroad. More than 1,200 French citizens and residents are now linked to foreign jihad.

At the same time, the president's office says it plans to cut 7,500 fewer jobs from the military to better fight terrorism.

The anti-terror measures come as four men have been handed preliminary charges of providing logistical support to one of the Paris terror attackers. They will remain behind bars while the investigation continues.

Three of the men are suspected of buying weapons for Amedy Coulibaly (ah-med-ee kool-ee-bahl-ee), who shot to death a policewoman on the outskirts of Paris and then a day later killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket before being killed in a police raid.

%@AP Links

139-c-16-(Lori Hinnant (HIH'-nihnt), AP correspondent)-"additional logistical support"-AP correspondent Lori Hinnant reports the Paris prosecutor has brought charges against the men believed to have helped one of the Paris gunmen earlier this month. (21 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *139 (01/21/15)££ 00:16 "additional logistical support"

140-c-19-(Lori Hinnant (HIH'-nihnt), AP correspondent)-"the intelligence specifically"-AP correspondent Lori Hinnant reports French authorities have announced new anti-terrorism decrees around the country, as well as charges against four men for allegedly helping one of the Paris gunmen. (21 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *140 (01/21/15)££ 00:19 "the intelligence specifically"

141-c-16-(Lori Hinnant (HIH'-nihnt), AP correspondent)-"too easily abandoned"-AP correspondent Lori Hinnant reports there are concerns that the French government may be moving too quickly to broaden its intelligence reach. (21 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *141 (01/21/15)££ 00:16 "too easily abandoned"

APPHOTO PAR106: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveils new security measures at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. France announced sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism Wednesday, including giving security forces better weapons and protection, going on an intelligence agent hiring spree and creating a better database of anyone suspected of extremist links. Behind reads: Mobilization against terrorism. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool) (21 Jan 2015)

<<APPHOTO PAR106 (01/21/15)££

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