French lawmakers are expected Tuesday to pass a tough new counter-terrorism law designed to end the country’s two-year state of emergency, with critics saying it will expand police powers at a cost to civil liberties.
The vote follows a string of attacks in France since 2015 and comes just two days after more bloodshed, in the southern port city of Marseille when a suspected Islamist knifeman killed two women.
In Paris, a homemade bomb attached to a suspected cell phone detonator was found in a building hallway in the wealthy 16th district on Saturday, prompting an anti-terror investigation.
Five people were arrested, including one who is on France’s terror watch list.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the incident “shows that the threat level in France is extremely high.”
“We are still in a state of war even if Daesh has suffered some military defeats,” he added.
The group, which claimed responsibility for the Marseille stabbings, is under attack and fast losing turf across the remaining parts of its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Collomb has defended the anti-terror bill as a “lasting response to a lasting threat”, but it has come under fire from the French left and human rights groups.
The law would give authorities the power to place people under house arrest, order house searches and ban public gatherings without the prior approval of a judge.