France: Valls launches 'anti-Jihad' plan to stop extremists

Government's draft law against young Muslims leaving for Syria

23 April, 10:39

    Manuel Valls Manuel Valls

    (by Tullio Giannotti) (ANSAmed) - PARIS, APRIL 23 - With a simple text message - 'Be proud, your son has attained martyrdom' - Islamic holy war jihad alerts French families that their sons who have left the country to fight with Islamist militias have heroically died.

    Premier Manuel Valls, a former premier known for his 'zero-tolerance' attitude, is aware of growing alarm in the country over this phenomenon. The release and return home Saturday of four French journalist abducted in Syria was celebrated and then forgotten in just a few hours. But the time was enough to hear their stories, with one reporter in particular talking about the French jailer who was watching them. According to French media reports, there is no doubt the reporters were detained in an area dubbed the ''factory of hostages'' west of Aleppo. Here, abducted westerners are detained - so far an estimated 35 have been jailed there - watched over by masked gunmen.

    At least four or five French nationals out of the estimated 500 who have left France to fight alongside Islamists over the past few years are believed to have served as guards to hostages. For years, the most fundamentalist mosques have bred a new generation of youths coming from North African families who willing to train as militants in camps to fight the holy war.

    Boys and girls who chose jihad recently reportedly included a 15-year-old, a pregnant mother and a French soldier, according to a video posted on the web. All are ready to sacrifice their lives for the Islamic cause, forgetting their families in France. And apparently, jihad hierarchy relegates French speakers to the lowest ranks as militants.

    This is why, as announced Wednesday by French President Francois Hollande, the Valls government is working on an anti-jihad offensive and on Thursday Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will present a draft law at a cabinet meeting.

    The objective of the measure, Hollande said, is to ''dissuade, prevent, punish those'' who are tempted by jihad.

    ''France will deploy an arsenal, using all techniques available including cyber-security'' to combat this phenomenon, ''the use of religion for other purposes, in particular the most abominable of all, terrorism'', continued the president.

    It is no coincidence that Hollande spoke during the official inauguration of an exhibit dedicated to the pilgrimage to the Makkah.

    The anti-jihad plan includes the re-implementation of an authorization necessary for minors to travel out of France and the possibility for parents to seek the help of public institutions if they notice suspicious behavior in their children. Suspicious behavior includes first of akk attendance of fundamentalist mosques and surfing pro-terrorist websites.


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