French po­lice ar­rest teenage terror sus­pect

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FRENCH po­lice have ar­rested a teenager sus­pected of plan­ning an at­tack, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said, as Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Valls warned that the coun­try faced a threat from 15,000 home­grown rad­i­cals.

The 15-year-old was ar­rested in eastern Paris on Septem­ber 10 and had been un­der house ar­rest since April for sus­pected links to Is­lamic ex­trem­ists.

The po­lice sus­pect him of plot­ting “in re­sponse to calls from Syria to at­tack France”, one of the sources said, just days af­ter a sep­a­rate plot to blow up a car packed with gas can­nis­ters was al­legedly foiled in cen­tral Paris.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into calls made by a French mem­ber of the Is­lamic State group, Rachid Kassim, for sup­port­ers of the group to strike French tar­gets.

The source said the teenager had been in touch with Kassim us­ing the en­crypted mes­sag­ing app Tele­gram.

Kassim has been linked to at least one of the two teen ji­hadists who ex­e­cuted an el­derly priest in a Nor­mandy church in July.

Mr Valls said about 15,000 peo­ple were known to po­lice in France as hav­ing been rad­i­calised, up from a pre­vi­ous es­ti­mate of 10,000, adding around 700 ji­hadists from France were fight­ing in Syria and Iraq.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Bernard Cazeneuve said po­lice had ar­rested 293 peo­ple this year for “links to ter­ror­ist net­works”.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors also be­lieve IS op­er­a­tive Kassim had been in con­tact with one of the women ar­rested last week over a car found aban­doned near Notre Dame Cathe­dral, a ma­jor tourist draw in cen­tral Paris.

The car con­tained five gas cylin­ders, three bot­tles of diesel and a lit cig­a­rette.

Paris prose­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins said the women were act­ing on or­ders com­ing from Syria.

One woman, Or­nella G, was re­manded in cus­tody on ter­ror­ism charges while three other fe­male al­leged mem­bers of the same cell have also been de­tained. The three were plan­ning an­other at­tack, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources.

One of the women has been linked to one of the priest’s killers as well as to a ji­hadist who stabbed a po­lice cou­ple to death at their home in a Paris sub­urb in June. –

Photo: AFP

Rachid Kassim has called for sup­port­ers to strike French tar­gets.

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