French Prime Minister Warns of Chemical, Biological Attacks

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, Nov. 17, 2015/Photo: Reuters
French Prime Minister Warns of Chemical, Biological Attacks

The French Parliament is also passing far-reaching security measures, including blocking Facebook and Twitter accounts.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that the country could face a biological or chemical terror attack as France looks to extend its state of emergency for three more months.

The French lower house of parliament voted on Thursday to extend its state of emergency, although the upper house must approve the measure before it is officially put in place.

“Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is,” said Valls an address to the lower house before the vote. “What is new are the ways of operating; the ways of attacking and killing are evolving all the time. We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.”

Valls was presenting a security bill that he said is the “answer for the right of a free country facing chaos.” The proposed new laws would also look to “encourage the closing of mosques if they become too radical.”

Since the attacks, France has implemented numerous measures to thwart further terrorist attacks. On Thursday the French Parliament approved the bill that allows the government to block social media accounts promoting or inciting terrorist acts, under a state of emergency.

Police officers are now permitted to carry their weapons while off duty, provided they are wearing an armband to identify them.

Paris police have also prolonged their ban on large gatherings and demonstrations in the capital until midnight on Sunday.

The French government also announced that the planned marches during the international climate change talks hosted in Paris from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12 will not be permitted.

Belgian authorities on Thursday raided several properties in the Belgian capital, Brussels, linked to Bilal Hadfi, one of the three suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France on Friday night, and Salah Abdeslam, an attacker whose whereabouts is still unknown.


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