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French President proposes constitutional amendment

[JURIST] French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday submitted a proposed Constitutional amendment to the French Parliament to address anti-terrorism laws in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris in November. It is reported [WSJ report] that the proposed amendments would allow the government to strip the nationality of natural born citizens convicted of terrorist acts and extend emergency policing policies. The current emergency policing policies allow for officers to conduct warrantless searches and conduct house arrests. The French Parliament is set to vote on the proposed amendments in the beginning of the next year.

Paris' chief prosecutor Francois Molins reported the day after the attack that several arrests [JURIST report] had already been made, and numerous raids have since been conducted in France and Belgium. Organized in three teams, terrorists reportedly connected to the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST backgrounder] perpetrated attacks on six different targets in and around Paris. The attacks began with a suicide bombing at the Stade de France around 9:20 PM local time. Soon thereafter, individuals riding in a Seat brand car opened fire on individuals outside cafes around Paris. At around 9:40 PM, assailants fired on concert-goers at the Bataclan concert hall, killing 89. Molins related that these individuals were using "war-type weapons" and explosives, further indicating association with IS. Speaking about the attacks generally, French President Francois Hollande called them [BBC report] "an act of war," and vowed that the French "will lead the fight, and we will be ruthless." A UN rights expert also commented this week that the attacks may amount to crimes against humanity [JURIST report]. It is yet unclear if France will invoke [JURIST op-ed] Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty to call on allies to help fight IS, as the US did in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

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