PARIS- Following the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13th, seventy workers of the Paris airports have had their security passes revoked after suspected ties to radical Islam.
“Nearly 70 red badges were withdrawn after the attacks, mainly for cases of radicalization,” said Augustin de Romanet, chief executive officer of ADP, the company who operates the two Paris airports.
French security personnel also searched the lockers of some 4,000 workers at the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in an attempt to locate potential terrorists employed at the Paris hubs.
Plans to attack Charles de Gaulle, France’s largest international airport, were found by French security forces during raids in Paris suburbs five days after the November 13th attacks.
Concerns over airport employees were first initiated in October after Western intelligence officials voiced concerns that the bomb which destroyed a Russian passenger aircraft was planted by Egyptian airport personnel.
85,000 people are said to have secure-zone clearance between the two Paris airports, mostly consisting of airline personnel or several hundred firms subcontracted to work on the premises.
The red badges are specifically issued to individuals employed to work secure areas in positions such as baggage handling, suppliers and aircraft cleaning.
“To be issued with a red badge, you have to be cleared by police, and if you work for a company that carries out security checks of in-flight luggage, you need three police checks,” De Romanet said.
State of emergency powers implemented by the French government allowed to a number of airport workers with suspected links to radical Islam to be placed under house arrest.
Information releases following the November 13th attacks state that dozens of personnel had security passes revoked following the January attack of the Paris based magazine Charlie Hebdo. Other individuals were allowed to maintain security access despite being flagged as potential Islamic extremists.
The Paris region maintains concern about radicalized bus, metro and rail operators following news that Samy Amimour, an attacker of the Bataclan rock venue the night of November 13th, had worked as a bus driver even after being flagged on an intelligence watchlist.