French police arrest 10 radical Islamists

French police arrest 10 radical Islamists

Early morning raids throughout the country are part of continued crackdown

French police outside the apartment of Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah in March (AP/Remy de la Mauviniere)
French police outside the apartment of Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah in March (AP/Remy de la Mauviniere)

French police arrested at least 10 radical Islamists in a series of early morning raids on Wednesday in several cities, including Marseilles and Roubaix, according to the France 24 television station.

The arrests come one day after prosecutors opened a formal investigation into the suspected terrorist activities of 13 of the 19 militants arrested last Friday morning in cities across France, including Nantes, Le Mans and Toulouse.

The suspects rounded up last Friday are thought to be part of the Islamist group Forsane Alizza (“Knights of Pride”). The raid in which they were arrested also yielded approximately 20 firearms, France24 reported. One of those arrested, Forsane Alizza leader Mohamed Achamlane, has denied that the group was planning any terrorist acts.

Last week French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the police to crack down on radical Islamists following a string of deadly shootings in and near Toulouse last month. Those shootings culminated in a March 20 attack on a Jewish school, in which Mohammed Merah killed a teacher and three young children. Merah claimed a connection to al-Qaeda.


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