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French defense chief: Spying is crucial
Monday, October 15, 2012
Footage from the hostage tape by Al-Shabab of DGSE agent, Denis Allex
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PARIS -- France's defense minister says it's crucial to invest in intelligence to fight terrorism and prevent kidnappings.
The DGSE counterintelligence agency said in a rare statement that Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the agency Monday to stress the importance of spying. He said it's "at the heart of our defense and national security strategy."
The statement came as France is reviewing its defense policies and trying to rein in its budget deficit amid Europe's debt troubles.
Le Drian also said the government is determined to free a DGSE agent, Denis Allex, held hostage in Somalia since 2009.
France has another six hostages believed held in Mali by an al-Qaida offshoot. President Francois Hollande met with families of some of the hostages Monday.
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