France to free suspected Islamist militants (REUTERS) Reporting by Nicolas Bertin and Thierry Leveque; writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Andrew Roche PARIS, FRANCE 04/06/12 3:46pm EDT)
Reuters News Service
Reuters News Service Articles-Index-Top
(Reuters) - French police were expected to release without charge on
Friday the last six of 10 suspected Islamic militants arrested in
dawn raids two days earlier, legal sources said.
Four were freed on Thursday after prosecutors found there was
insufficient evidence to hold them. The sources would not confirm the
exact timing of the release of the remaining six on Friday.
French officials said on Wednesday the suspects had been detained
preventatively because they had a "similar profile" to Mohamed Merah,
a 23-year-old al Qaeda-inspired gunman who shot dead seven people,
including three Jewish schoolchildren, in southwest France last month.
A police source described those held as "isolated individuals who are
He said the suspects had been tracked on Islamist forums expressing
extreme views and had been preparing to travel to areas including
Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Sahel belt of West Africa to wage jihad
Some of those arrested had already visited these areas, the source
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who faces an uphill task to win re-
election in a two-round election this month and next, has vowed to
root out any form of militancy following Merah´s killing spree.
Some of Sarkozy´s political rivals suggested the wave of detentions
was carried out for electoral ends.
Police arrested 19 people suspected of Islamist militancy last week.
Thirteen are still being held, alleged to have links to French
radical Islamist group Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride) and being
investigated on suspicion of terrorism. (© Thomson Reuters 2012.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY