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France Continues Crackdown on Terror Suspects

At least eight people were arrested in early morning raids targeting Islamic extremists in France.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/5/2012, 5:45 AM

French Police at Toulouse siege
French Police at Toulouse siege
Reuters

France continued its crackdown on terror suspects on Wednesday, as it has done since the recent terror attacks in Toulouse.

According to a report by France 24, elite French police launched early morning raids Wednesday in several French towns and cities, arresting at least eight people.

The report said the latest raids were conducted primarily in the southern city of Marseilles as well as Roubaix near the Belgian border, and in several other locations in the country's south and southwest.

The raids are led by France’s domestic DCRI intelligence agency, France 24 quoted police sources as having said.

The operation came barely a week after the arrest of several members of a radical Islamist group on March 30th in Toulouse as well as the western cities of Nantes and Le Mans, and in the Paris region.

Paris judges also announced on Wednesday that they had placed 13 Forsane Alizza members under formal investigation for "criminal conspiracy connected to a terrorist enterprise" and illegal possession and transportation of weapons, officials were quoted as having said.

On Tuesday, sources said Muslim extremists arrested in France had planned to kidnap a Jewish judge in Lyon. Other kidnappings were planned as well, according to the sources.

In addition to arresting several terror suspects, France has expelled five foreign “Islamic radicals.”

Last week, a French court sentenced a 20-year-old man from the same Toulouse neighborhood as gunman Mohamed Merah to three months in prison for praising his crimes.

Sarkozy promised a crackdown on Islamic extremism immediately after Merah’s murders, which included four Jews in the Otzar Hatorah school.