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French law bans training at terror camps

Dec. 22, 2012 at 8:23 PM

PARIS, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A law that took effect Saturday allows France to prosecute its citizens who get military training in terrorist camps outside the country.

Under the measure approved Friday by President Francois Hollande, those involved in "criminal association with a terrorist group" face up to 10 years imprisonment and heavy fines, Radio France Internationale reported. The bill also extends a 2006 law allowing law enforcement agencies to monitor telephones and the Internet.

The law was inspired by a killing spree in Toulouse and Montauban carried out by Mohamed Merah, who had dual Algerian-French citizenship. Merah killed three French soldiers, one of them a Muslim, and four Jews, including three children, at a day-care center before he was killed by police.

Merah, who had Islamist views and justified his actions in a phone conversation with a TV news reporter during the police siege of his apartment, is believed to have received training at a camp on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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