Italian PM calls on EU to form own intelligence agency

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called on the European Union to establish its own intelligence agency in the wake of fatal terrorist attacks in France.

“We have the common currency and we must also have a common security and intelligence system. Europe must be united against terrorism,” Renzi said on Friday.

The Italian premier added there are no signs to indicate that his country is under the threat of a specific attack.

He made the remarks following a series of attacks in France which began with a shooting assault on the headquarters of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday.

Eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in the Wednesday attack.

On Friday, two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, suspected of slaughtering the 12 people on Wednesday, were killed after being cornered at a printing workshop with a hostage in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. The two had earlier released the hostage.

Also on Friday, police ended a second hostage-taking in a supermarket in the eastern Porte de Vincennes area of Paris, killing one armed hostage-taker, Amedy Coulibaly, who was a suspect in the Thursday killing of a policewoman in southern Paris. Officials say that four hostages were also killed during the raid.

It has still not been verified if Coulibaly had an accomplice during the hostage taking or acted alone. Before the incident, police issued an appeal saying they were searching for Coulibaly and a 26-year-old woman named Hayat Boumeddiene in relation to the policewoman’s killing.

Boumeddiene’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Earlier on Friday, a person claiming to be Coulibaly told French TV station BFM that he was an ISIL member, and that he had “co-ordinated” his attack with the Kouachi brothers, state-run BBC reported.

The ISIL Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, threatening to target the United States and Britain next.

MSM/AS/MHB