France hits foreign-trained extremists

2012-10-03 18:45

Paris - France on Wednesday presented plans for a new anti-terrorism law that will allow authorities to prosecute citizens who attend militant Islamist training camps abroad.

The move comes six months after Mohamed Merah, a French citizen who claimed to have attended Al-Qaeda-style training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, killed seven people in a wave of shootings in and around Toulouse.

The plans were presented to cabinet on Wednesday and President Francois Hollande hopes parliament will adopt them by the end of the year, government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said.

"The terrorist threat remains at a very high level in France," she said.

The reforms will allow authorities to detect "the spread of radicalism or jihadism on the internet and to identify people returning to France after training or participating in terrorist actions" abroad.

The bill would amend France's criminal code to make terrorism-related crimes committed outside France punishable in the country.

Those attending training camps abroad could face up to 10 years in prison for "association with a terrorist enterprise".

The changes would also allow authorities to monitor the telecommunications data of the creators of extremist websites.

French authorities have been criticised for failing to prevent Merah's attacks despite his links with foreign Islamists, which were known to intelligence services.

Merah shot dead three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers before being killed himself on 22 March following a 32-hour police siege of his flat in the southern city of Toulouse.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-03 18:55

    Chris Hedges: "If you are a young Muslim American and head off to the Middle East for a spell in a fundamentalist 'madrassa,' or religious school, Homeland Security will probably greet you at the airport when you return. But if you are an American Jew and you join hundreds of teenagers from Europe and Mexico for an eight-week training course run by the Israel Defense Forces, you can post your picture wearing an Israeli army uniform and holding an automatic weapon on MySpace." It appears that France is following this same logic!

      sean.roff.71 - 2012-10-03 19:37

      I see so many Israeli's walking around France shooting people. Oh wait that would be Muslim fundamentalists. Don't be an idiot children were killed by a sicko trained in camps to kill indescrimanatly. France must do whatever it takes.

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-10-03 21:20

      Is fidel not the Infidel they so hate?

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-03 21:03

    Vive la France - a little late, but still.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-10-03 21:15

    Fabulous. If they attend the trainin camps, it is not to imrpove their singing. So, prosecute them and put them away, I suggest in a 4x4 cell with a pig

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