France adopts law cracking down on would-be jihadists

4th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

France on Tuesday adopted an anti-terrorism law which will slap a travel ban on anyone suspected of planning to wage jihad after the upper house Senate gave its final stamp of approval.

The law comes as authorities are increasingly worried about the number of French citizens travelling to fight in Iraq and Syria who could potentially come back and stage attacks in their home country.

But while the majority of senators approved the bill, those from the Green and far-right parties abstained while the Communists voted against it over fears it will curtail freedoms.

The travel ban included in the law will see suspects have their passports and ID cards confiscated for six months, with the measure renewable for up to two years.

It also brings in punishment for "lone wolves" who plan terrorist attacks on their own, and allows authorities to block entry to any EU citizen or their relatives if their presence in France constitutes a threat.

"La Quadrature du Net", a French group that defends online rights, has previously slammed the bill as "unsuitable, dangerous and destructive of freedoms".

Authorities say more than 1,000 nationals or French residents are involved in one way or another in jihadist networks.

A total of 46 of these have been killed, they say.

While some grow disillusioned when they arrive in Syria and Iraq, authorities fear that others could become indoctrinated, come home and carry out attacks on home soil.

Mehdi Nemmouche, a French national suspected of killing four people in an attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May, had spent more than a year fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria.

© 2014 AFP

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