The New Battle Against ISIS in Raids and Laws

As France conducts thousands of raids, British and Germany lawmakers stepped up their commitments to battle the Islamic State in Syria.

Stephane Mahe / Reuters

The news from France may have quieted down, but that doesn’t mean it has been quiet. In the aftermath of last month’s attacks, France has launched more than 2,200 raids, made more than 250 arrests, and closed at least three mosques  as authorities empowered by the country’s emergency measures crack down.

“Such measures to close mosques because of radicalization have never before been taken by any government, including during the last state of emergency in 2005,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. Firearms have also been seized in raids and several Muslim men have been placed under house arrest.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Hassan El Alaoui, a leading French imam, predicted France would shutter as many as 160 mosques in the coming months either for operating without permits or promoting radical views.

Elsewhere, lawmakers in both the U.K. and Germany enhanced their countries’ commitments to battling ISIS. On Wednesday, the British Parliament voted to expand airstrikes into Syria; previously, they only participated in coalition strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq.

On Friday, Germany joined, but in a more measured way. Their forces will not participate in airstrikes against ISIS, instead approving a $145 million non-combat role, which will include reconnaissance support.

As efforts to battle ISIS continue, Paris, which is still under a three-month state of emergency, is showing small signs of a return to normalcy. On Friday, Bonne Bière cafe, where five people were killed in last month’s attacks, reopened. It’s the first business targeted in the Paris attacks to open its doors again.

The news came as French and Belgian authorities are reportedly in pursuit of two new suspects in the Paris attacks. At least four remain at large.