Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

France

French police arrest 12 in counter-terrorism raids

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-06

French police said on Tuesday that they had arrested 12 people in counter-terrorism raids that came as Western security officials warned al Qaeda may be planning Mumbai-style attacks in major European cities.

AFP - French police arrested 12 people and seized guns Tuesday in anti-terror raids that came as Western security officials warn that Al-Qaeda may be planning Mumbai-style attacks in Europe.
   
Police from France's anti-terrorism squad made nine arrests in the southern port of Marseille and in nearby Avignon, police said.
   
They seized "some weapons, including a Kalashnikov (rifle) and a pump-action shotgun, as well as ammunition", said one official, adding that the nine were being investigated for suspected links to a "terrorist enterprise".
   
In a separate operation also on Tuesday, French police arrested three men after finding their numbers in the mobile phone of a man of Algerian origin who was arrested at the weekend in Italy allegedly with a bomb-making kit.
   
Two of those suspects were arrested in Marseille and the third in Bordeaux in the southwest, said a police source. Another official stressed that the two sets of arrests were not linked.
   
The second raid came after the three men's telephone numbers were found in the phone of Ryad Hannouni, who was picked up Saturday close to the central train station in the Italian city of Naples allegedly carrying a bomb-making kit.
   
The 28-year-old, for whom a European arrest warrant had been issued, was to be extradited to France, ANSA news agency said.
   
Officials said investigators wanted to question him on suspected links to militants coming to Europe from Afghanistan. Hannouni had reportedly travelled from tribal zones around the Afghan-Pakistan border.
   
Tuesday's arrests in France came as European and US security officials warned that Al-Qaeda may be planning Mumbai-style attacks with heavily-armed gunmen.
   
In the 2008 assault, 10 militants from Al-Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Taiba mowed down unarmed civilians at targets across the Indian city after arriving by boat from Karachi, leaving 166 dead.
   
Security analysts have specifically cited the Mumbai carnage as a possible model for further attacks.
   
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Tuesday that "all the Western countries are today aware of the reality of the threat" of attacks, adding that it "should neither be underestimated nor over-estimated".
   
Japan and Sweden on Monday followed Britain and the United States by issuing travel warnings for their citizens about a possible Al-Qaeda attack on landmark sites in Europe.
   
The US State Department said in its alert on Sunday that attackers may use "a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests" in Europe.
   
Britain immediately backed the US alert and warned its own citizens of a "high threat of terrorism" in France and Germany.
   
US channel Fox News, citing unnamed intelligence officials, said militants had a drawn up a list of targets in the two countries.
   
These included Paris's Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, and Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate, the city's glass-roofed central railway station and the soaring television tower.
   
The Eiffel Tower, one of France's most-visited tourist attractions, was twice evacuated last month because of telephoned bomb warnings.
   
Any attack against European cities and the United States will likely rely on militants with Western passports, who can more easily avoid detection, while reinforcing Al-Qaeda propaganda about a global struggle, experts say.
   
The mounting threat posed by "Western foreign fighters" has haunted security services since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and authorities have struggled to track suspects travelling to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia to forge terror links.

 

Date created : 2010-10-05

  • EUROPE

    Terror alert linked to Mumbai-style ‘swarm’ attack

    Read more

  • TERRORISM

    Japan, Sweden latest countries to issue travel alerts for Europe

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Eiffel Tower briefly evacuated, no bomb found

    Read more

COMMENT(S)