French Police Kill Man Involved in Attack on Jewish Supermarket
A man shot dead by French police Saturday in a nationwide crackdown on terror suspects was linked to an attack on a Jewish store last month, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said, according to AFP.
The man killed in an exchange of fire in Strasbourg was "a delinquent who had converted to radical Islam" and his fingerprints were found on the remains of a grenade thrown into the kosher grocery store in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, Molins told a press conference.
Molins named him as Jeremy Sidney, 33, and said that he was of French nationality.
He said the sweep had uncovered a list of Jewish associations, adding that "the inquiry will determine what were the next targets of this cell".
Strasbourg prosecutor Patrick Poirret said, according to AFP, that Sidney was "very determined with probably the ambition to die a martyr, and had emptied the chamber" of his revolver at the police before being shot dead.
Poirret added that when police entered Sidney's home, he was standing armed with a .357 magnum and fired at them, prompting them to return fire.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said earlier the sweep in a number of French cities was aimed at "dismantling terrorist networks".
"When it's a matter of fighting terrorism all means are applied to leave nothing aside," Ayrault said, adding that the "very serious, widespread operation" had effectively been launched "several weeks ago".
Police sources said the crackdown was directed at a suspected Salafist network and linked to the September 19 attack which left one person injured and alarmed France's Jewish community.
Police said another man arrested in the Paris suburbs was armed and "dangerous" but did not use his weapon.
Police swooped simultaneously in several cities across France, among them Cannes in the southeast, where a man was detained without offering resistance.
Molins described the 11 individuals who were arrested in the crackdown, as "often common criminals who set out on a path of radicalization toward Islamist jihadism.”
Three of them had criminal records for cases involving drug trafficking, theft and violence. Sidney himself had been sentenced to two years in prison in 2008 for drug trafficking, AFP reported.
France recently announced that it will expel any foreigners who pose a threat to the country’s security at home or abroad, either in the name of Islam or by refusing to respect the country's secular traditions.
Following the attack on the Jewish supermarket, MK Danny Danon sent a letter to the French President asking him to beef up security at Jewish learning institutions.