French counter terrorism police arrested eight people with alleged links to jihadist cells in Lyon and the Paris suburbs Tuesday morning, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at a Paris press conference.
He said 161 legal investigations into terrorism are currently ongoing, with 547 people implicated in the inquiries.
Of those 547 people, 167 people have been arrested, 95 are under investigation and 80 are in jail, he said.
Cazeneuve also announced that “a new counter-terrorism” decree would go into effect on Wednesday.
He plans to travel to Brussels, Belgium, on the same day to persuade the EU Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to move forward with the EU Passenger Name Record. This is a draft law currently under debate that would require airlines to maintain and share data on passengers entering and leaving the European Union, in an effort to fight crime and terrorism.
“The fight against terrorism, is a race against time — we are fully determined,” Cazeneuve said.
France last month suffered its worst terror attacks in decades when 17 people were killed in shooting incidents in Paris. Since then, it has been cracking down on those with suspected jihadist links.