Responding to rising threats across Europe, France on Thursday sought to extend a sweeping state of emergency for three months, as Belgium proposed tough new measures to detain and monitor suspects who support jihadist groups.
The calls for a crackdown came as French prosecutors confirmed Thursday that the ringleader of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris was killed in amassive pre-dawn police raid Wednesday. The death of Abdelhamid Abaaoud did little to calm European unease about the specter of more attacks.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned that now “it is necessary to move fast and hard.”
He said that “all Europe must work together to defeat terrorism” and called for an emergency meeting of the continent’s interior ministers on Friday.
Some European leaders seemed prepared to sweep aside cherished traditions that protect rights to privacy and civil liberties.
In Belgium, Prime Minister Charles Michel pressed parliament to pass tough new measures to imprison citizens returning home from fighting in Syria and to broaden law enforcement’s ability to tap phones and detain suspects for three days without charges. He called for shutting down Web sites that advocate jihad, or Islamic holy war.
The moves came as fears ratcheted up across Europe of more hidden terror cells preparing similar strikes.
The three-month extension of emergency laws grants the French government powers to conduct stops and searches, ban large gatherings in public places and put suspected extremists under house arrest.
In Belgium, police searched at least eight homes in connection with Bilal Hadfi, 20, one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks, and Salah Abdelslam, 26, a fugitive believed to have been involved in the attacks but who slipped away amid the chaos.
Nine people were arrested, including friends and family of Hadfi, who blew himself up outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a soccer match between France and Germany. He and six other assailants died in the series of attacks on multiple targets, which also included the Bataclan concert hall and several restaurants and bars.
Michel, the Belgian prime minister, asked parliament for new measures that would require immediate jailing for citizens returning from presumed militant activity in Syria, where the Islamic State has some of its main strongholds. Under the request, those on terrorist watch lists — about 800 residents in Belgium currently — would be forced to wear ankle bracelets to track their movements.
Further proposed measures called for the deployment of 300 troops and more leeway in conducting house raids. Michel also called for stronger border controls — an appeal that highlights wider debates across the European Union on how to reconcile its policies of control-free travel with demands to combat the Islamic State and other militant factions.
Europe is not f’n around with these ingrates anymore…no more submitting to their claims…overlooking their bad acts such as the car burnings in France…no more PC BS.