French government tackles anti-terrorism bill
French President François Hollande’s cabinet was set to review a new anti-terrorism bill Wednesday, a little more than six months after self-styled French Jihadist Mohamed Merah killed seven people in a shooting spree in the south of the country.
French President François Hollande’s cabinet on Wednesday was set to review a bill tightening the country’s anti-terrorism laws and clamping down on French citizens travelling abroad to train in terrorist camps.
“We have laws that allow us to track pedophiles who have committed crimes abroad, but not one for aspiring terrorists. Like with pedophilia and sexual tourism, we should be able to take action against this group,” an intelligence specialist told the AFP news agency.
Proposed by Interior Minister Manuel Valls, the bill makes “criminal association with a terrorist group” punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a 225,000 euro fine, but does not make training at a terrorist camp illegal, according to police.
The bill comes more than six months after Mohamed Merah, a self-styled French Jihadist, shocked the country by killing seven people in a shooting spree in southwestern France. Investigators believed that Merah, who claimed to have links to al Qaeda, received training along the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government proposed a similar law earlier this year, but was unable to pass it after parliament’s session was suspended because of the country’s presidential elections.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)