Friday, March 30, 2012
French Police arrest 19 people in Toulouse and other cities in raids aimed at "Radical Islam".(AlJazeera).French police have arrested 19 people in dawn raids across a number of cities in what President Nicolas Sarkozy described as a crackdown on "radical Islam". Several of the arrests on Friday occured in the southwestern city of Toulouse, where an al-Qaeda inspired gunman carried out a series of attacks earlier this month that left seven people dead.
Agents from France's DCRI domestic intelligence agency working with anti-terror and elite police units carried out the dawn raids in Toulouse, Nantes, Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Le Mans, Paris and other areas. Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Sarkozy confirmed the arrests and said that weapons had been seized. He said the operation was "linked with a form of radical Islam" and suggested that further raids would occur. "We have some extremely precise questions to ask a certain number of people and what happened this morning will continue," he said. "There will be other operations that will continue and will also allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people." Police said Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons were seized during the raids. Among those arrested was Mohammed Achamlane, the head of a suspected extremist group called Forsane Alizza, the sources said, with three Kalashnikovs, a Glock pistol and a grenade seized from his home.Read the full story here.