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The Associated Press March 22, 2012, 2:01PM ET

Sarkozy: Prosecute those who visit terror sites

France's president has proposed a sweeping new law to criminalize visits to extremist web sites, one of several measures floated in the wake of a murderous shooting spree by an Islamist extremist.

The proposed rules were announced unexpectedly by President Nicolas Sarkozy in a televised address Thursday after authorities said the suspected gunman, Mohamed Merah, had been shot dead in a dramatic police raid.

Merah's rampage, the deadliest in years, has refocused attention on the threat of Islamist extremism.

Sarkozy says France cannot tolerate terrorist recruitment or indoctrination on its soil. But his plan to prosecute repeat visitors to extremist website has alarmed journalists and legal experts, who say it risks criminalizing curiosity.

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