July 23, 2014

The National Assembly’s legal commission strengthened the law aimed at reinforcing France’s fight against terrorism. The legislation is expected to combat the threat represented by the presence of numerous French and European jihadists in Syria and in Iraq.

The plan’s key measure provides for the possibility to prohibit, for a limited time, a suspected individual from leaving the country to participate in jihadist operations. The text created a new “illegal entity”, that of an “individual terrorist firm” and equally reinforces Internet monitoring with the possibility of the government blocking sites that glorify terrorism.

“When these young people…see crime in its most barbaric and terrible form, with numerous executions, decapitations, and crucifixions, their behavior is destroyed to the point that when they come back, they represent a danger to our national security,” said Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve Tuesday, July 22 at the Assembly meeting.

The text, which will be publicly debated by leaders in September, completes the plan put in place in April, whose goal was to prohibit jihadist suspects from participating in Syria’s war.

Authorities have already put in place prohibitions in which children’s names, at the request of their parents, can be put on a list circulated throughout the European Union in order to stop minors from leaving to fight.

All the amendments presented by the Commission’s spokesperson, Sebastien Pietrasanta (PS) were passed. Both an individual’s identity card and passport can be confiscated in order to prohibit entrance to Turkey, the gateway to Syria.

Editors and hosts of websites “leading to acts of terrorism or glorifying it” will be, according to the amendment, required to remove the content in question.

According to Sebastien Pietrasanta, 900 Frenchmen have been involved in Syrian jihadist networks. As of mid-July, 342 Frenchmen are currently fighting in Syria including 50 women and seven minors. Over 150 people are in the process of going to Syria, and 171 are leaving Syria, of which 100 have returned to France. Thirty-three of these combatants were killed. Homeland Security stopped three people suspected of being members of a jihadist group Tuesday in Albi.

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