11 terror suspects arrested in swoop

One man was shot in a shoot-out with police and others thought to be from the same group are being questioned in custody

7 October 2012

MORE arrests of radical Islamists in France are likely to follow the arrest of 11 this weekend.

The interior minister, Manuel Valls, has said there may be “several hundred people capable of organising themselves like the group that we have just dismantled.”

The 11 people – around half arrested in Cannes, others in Seine-et-Marne and Strasbourg – are still in police custody.

A 33-year-old from Cannes was shot by police in Strasbourg after he opened fire on police trying to arrest him. An officer was reportedly shot in the head and heart areas but saved by protective clothing.

Another of the detainees, arrested in Torcy in Seine-et-Marne, had a .22 rifle “ready to fire”, said the Paris public prosecutor François Mollins.

The swoop on Saturday is linked to an attack in Sarcelles, north of Paris, on September 19, when a grenade was thrown into a kosher supermarket, injuring one person. DNA of the man who was shot, Jérémie-Louis Sidney, was found on the remains of the grenade.

Sidney, who was born in Seine-et-Marne, was described by Mr Mollins as a “criminal converted to radical Islam”. He had a record for drug dealing dating from 2008.

The other people arrested are believed to belong to the same radical group and are all young (born in the 1980s-90s).

Apart from €27,000 in cash, police seized armaments, Islamist literature, IT equipment, documents “suggesting terrorist inclinations”, a list of Jewish organisations in the Paris suburbs – and four wills, suggesting the men were willing to die.

President Hollande has announced further increases to security measures that were put in place at Jewish community centres over the festival of Tabernacles which ended yesterday.

Under anti-terrorism laws the investigators have until Wednesday to hold the suspects for questioning.

Photo: Phovoir

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