Rochefort-en-Terre (Morbihan, Brittany) was named the TF1 “favourite village of the French (village préféré des Français)” in 2016 and the nation’s “wonderful Christmas town (merveilleux village de Noel)” this year, and several thousand people now visit the picturesque village every year due to these titles.
However, the Vannes gendarmerie has now opened an inquiry after several posts - which have now been deleted - reportedly appeared on the village’s public Facebook Page, appearing to have links with the so-called Islamic State, Islamic terrorism, and apologist groups for terrorism, reports local newspaper Ouest-France.
It is not clear how the images came to be posted on the site, and no-one has yet been accused or linked to the page, least of all anyone associated with the village directly itself.
More details are expected to come to light as the inquiry continues but no conclusions have yet been drawn.
The gendarmerie is taking the issue “very seriously”, as the punishment for appearing to excuse, promote or act as a terrorism apologist - especially online - can include fines of up to €100,000 and seven years in prison.
The mayor of the village, Jean-François Humeau, has not directly commented on the issue, saying only to Ouest-France: “The subject is too sensitive to talk about”.
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