France Arrests 6 Suspected Recruiters of Jihad

French police detain six people suspected of handling questionable money transfers and recruiting candidates to wage jihad.

Ben Ariel,

French police vehicles
French police vehicles

French police on Sunday detained six people suspected of recruiting potential jihadists, just days after another operation saw five charged on similar grounds, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, according to AFP.

France is slowly recovering from the January 7-9 Islamist attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead but remains jittery after incidents such as last Tuesday's knife attack on three soldiers outside a Jewish community center in Nice, on the French Riviera.

Cazeneuve said in a statement that anti-terrorism magistrates in Paris had ordered Sunday's raid following a probe opened in January last year into "conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and financing of terrorism."

A source close to the probe told AFP that five people were held in the southern city of Albi and another in the southwest of France.

All in their 30s, they are suspected of handling questionable money transfers and having recruited candidates to wage jihad.

Investigators are also looking to see if some of the suspects went to Syria, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

"This new raid takes place five days after the detention for similar motives of eight people in the Paris and Lyon (southeast) regions, of whom five were charged on Saturday, and four remanded in custody," Cazeneuve said in his statement.

Last month, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said 1,280 people were either in the process of leaving to wage jihad abroad, already on site, on their way back to France or already returned.

Altogether, according to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, authorities have to monitor nearly 3,000 people involved in "terrorist networks."

Last week, on the same day as the Nice attack, French police arrested eight people suspected of involvement in a network that allegedly sent people to Syria to wage jihad.

Meanwhile Moussa Coulibaly, the 30-year-old who attacked the soldiers in Nice, injuring two, was charged Saturday with attempted murder in connection with a terrorist operation.