Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 22, 2005

New anti-terror bill passes in France

Filed under: International HLS — by Christian Beckner on December 22, 2005

Per the Associated Press, France has passed new anti-terror legislation:

France’s parliament approved an anti-terrorism bill Thursday that will boost the use of video surveillance and allow police more time to question terror suspects….

The law will allow mosques, department stores and other potential targets to install surveillance cameras, and it will stiffen prison terms for terrorists and those providing support.

It also will enable police to monitor people who travel to countries known to harbor terror training camps, and to extend the detention period for terror suspects from four days to up to six days.

This is entirely consistent with one of the most overlooked facts in the war against terror: that many European nations tilt more toward security in the “security vs. liberty” debate than does the United States. Can you imagine the backlash in the U.S. if the FBI wanted to put cameras in mosques? The fact that numerous European countries have national ID cards – an idea that is strongly resisted in the United States – is another example of this.

Amid all of the sturm und drang in the last several years about “Old Europe” and “freedom fries”, France has quietly been a very strong partner to the United States on counterterrorism, intelligence, and homeland security – a reality that we in the United States should not take for granted.

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