Looking for Help, France Invokes Never-Used Treaty

As country mobilizes 115,000 security personnel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 5:38 AM CST
Updated Nov 17, 2015 6:54 AM CST
France Mobilizes Massive Security Force
Police forces patrol near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

"France is at war," President Francois Hollande declared on Monday, and an army has been mobilized: The BBC reports that 115,000 security personnel, including police and troops, have been deployed across the country in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. More than 150 raids were carried out across France on Monday, and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced on Tuesday that another 128 anti-terror raids were carried out overnight, as French warplanes struck the ISIS "capital" of Raqqa for a second night, reports CNN. In other developments:

  • France's fight is now the fight of the entire European Union, under a treaty the country has invoked. The clause, which calls for all 28 states to offer "aid and assistance by all means in their power" after "armed aggression" on a member's territory, has never been used before, the BBC reports.

  • Hollande is seeking to amend France's laws and constitution to make anti-terror operations easier to conduct, the New York Times reports. He has signaled that he wants to expand surveillance powers, as well as give police more power to conduct raids without a warrant. He also plans to extend the current state of emergency for three months and make it possible to strip dual nationals convicted of terror offenses of their French passports.
  • Authorities in France and Belgium are still hunting Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national believed to have helped the Paris attackers. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, another Belgian national, is suspected of masterminding the attack. Security sources tell the Wall Street Journal that he is believed to be in Syria, where Western forces have been trying for weeks or months to find him and kill him with an airstrike.
  • The identity of an attacker found dead at the Stade de France with a Syrian passport bearing the name Ahmad al Mohammad nearby is still a mystery, the Guardian reports. Police in Serbia have arrested a man carrying a passport with the same details, and they believe both passports are fake. The attacker is believed to have entered Greece last month posing as a refugee, and more than 20 states now say they will refuse Syrian refugees because they fear there could be terrorists among them.
  • John Kerry met Hollande in Paris on Tuesday and called for greater cooperation against ISIS after attacks that he has described as an assault on civilization, reports the AP. "We have to step up our efforts to hit them at the core where they're planning these things and also obviously to do more on borders in terms [of] the movement of people," he said.
(More France stories.)

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