The Globe and Mail – April 11, 2012
The conservative French government unveiled new counterterrorism measures to punish those who visit extremist websites or travel to weapons-training camps abroad, in the wake of deadly shootings by a suspected Islamic extremist in southern France last month. The measures now go to Parliament, where it may face resistance from the Socialists, who say France’s legal arsenal against terrorism is already strong enough and that the proposal is a campaign ploy to boost President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chances at a second term.
Mr. Sarkozy’s cabinet gave its go-ahead to measures that would make it illegal to travel abroad to “indoctrination and weapons-training camps for terrorist ends” or to regularly visit websites that incite or praise deadly terrorism. Mr. Sarkozy’s government insists the measures are needed to fight the relatively new phenomenon of “lone wolf” terrorism by extremists who self-radicalize online via jihadist Web sites, and are hard for authorities to track.