Keyword: GIGN

Paris attacks mastermind 'still at large' says intelligence chief

Top spy's testimony to MPs emerged Wednesday when, in a separate move, gendarmerie commandos slammed their boss for inaction during November 13 massacre.  

Paris terror attacks heighten bitter divide between police and gendarmerie

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Strained relations: French police head Jean-Marc Falcone (l) with gendarmerie boss Denis Favier. © Reuters Strained relations: French police head Jean-Marc Falcone (l) with gendarmerie boss Denis Favier. © Reuters

Policing in France is divided up between the national police force, which covers urban areas, and the gendarmerie, which covers mostly rural zones. The two forces have a historic rivalry, which is further complicated by the sometimes surreal bureaucracy concerning their geographical limits of operation. The terrorist attacks in France in 2015 have exacerbated the mistrust between the two, beginning with tensions between their elite intervention forces which have now spread through the ranks and into mutually denigrating rumour campaigns relayed by the media. Matthieu Suc reports.