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A dozen people excluded from Paris Olympic torch relay for drugs, Islamism

French security forces have rejected 13 people who were selected to take part in the torch relay for the Paris Olympics, including some who had committed drugs offences as well as a suspected Islamist, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Monday.

Around 12,000 people have been vetted after being chosen for the 80-day relay across France which begins in Marseille on 8 May and will finish for the start of the Paris Games on 26 July.

"The vetting process has taken place and led to 13 incompatibility notices, meaning a very low rate of 0.10 percent," Darmanin told reporters at a press conference.

He said 10 were for people with "substantial criminal records, mostly for drugs offences", while three others were rejected by the intelligence services for "radical Islam, foreign interference, or links to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict."

The rejections "underline the efficiency of the vetting process and perhaps the plans of some people to disrupt the torch relay from the inside," he said.

The flame will be carried inside a "security bubble" of 100 travelling security forces, comprising motorbike teams, rapid-response forces, anti-drone specialists and anti-terror police.

Darmanin likened the relay through 400 towns to the annual Tour de France bicycle race but "with more originality and difficulties."

Security is to be bolstered by 15,000 military personnel and, at Olympic venues and fan zones, there will be between 17,000 and 22,000 private security guards.

Activists represent 'significant threat'


Read more on RFI English

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