News / Europe

France to Crack Down on Would-be Jihadists

FILE - French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve leaves the Elysee Palace following a weekly Cabinet meeting in Paris, May 2014.
FILE - French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve leaves the Elysee Palace following a weekly Cabinet meeting in Paris, May 2014.
Lisa Bryant

France's leftist government has introduced legislation to stop would-be jihadists from leaving the country, and posing security threats when they return home.  The measures reflect mounting international concern about Westerners joining the fighting in countries like Syria and Iraq.

France's draft legislation includes an arsenal of measures aimed to toughen surveillance and detention of suspects with links to radical Islamist groups, including preventing them from leaving French territory.  The French government believes it has good reason to toughen its anti-terrorism laws.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve estimates roughly 800 young people have joined jihadist fighting overseas, mostly in Syria.  Roughly 100 are now heading home.

Interviewed on France Info radio just before introducing the bill, Interior Minister Cazeneuve says these young jihadists witness barbaric acts overseas.  They return destroyed, and prepared to commit extremely violent acts back home, presenting a security threat for France and Europe.

Previous attacks

France is no stranger to terrorist attacks.  Algerian Islamists bombed a Paris metro station in the 1990s.  Today, terrorists are home-grown, including Islamist Mohamed Merah who shot dead seven people in Toulouse in 2012.  French-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche has been charged with gunning down four people at a Brussels' Jewish museum in May.

​If passed, the measures will make it easier for authorities to hold and question suspects in France and track those travelling across Europe's "border-free" Schengen area.  It also takes aim at the surge of jihadist recruitment on the Web.

Minister Cazeneuve wants to block Internet sites that incite anti-Semitism, terrorism and hatred, at the European and international levels.

Mounting concern

The draft legislation comes amid heightened concern about Westerners joining jihadist movements.  The United States estimates there are about 7,000 foreign fighters in Syria alone.  

On Tuesday, European Union ministers reportedly adopted an action plan to respond to security threats posed by returning jihadists that are confronting countries like Britain and Belgium, as well as France.  In Norway, Attorney General Eric Holder called for Europe to adopt tougher anti-terrorism laws.  

In France, the draft legislation has drawn a mixed reaction.  French Association for Victims of Terrorism spokesman Stephane Lacombe says the measures are only a partial response to home-grown radicalism.

"We have to deal with education, we have to deal with prevention in schools, on the ground," he said. "It is true that some of these young [people] living in France have the kind of profile linked with delinquency, problems at schools.  But it is not the only reason."

Critics argue the draft legislation violates basic rights, and suggest efforts to pass European-wide anti-terrorism measures are unlikely to succeed.  

 

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid