France: Al-Qaida-linked recruiting network busted

February 14, 2007 19:23

A tip about bomb threats against supermarkets in southwestern France last year culminated in the arrests of 11 people suspected of ties to an al-Qaida-linked recruiting network for the insurgency in Iraq, police said Wednesday. Counterterrorism agents rounded up eight suspects in and near the southwestern city of Toulouse and another was arrested east of Paris before dawn Wednesday, officials said. Two others were detained at Paris' Orly airport late Tuesday after being shipped home from Syria, where they were caught by authorities in December while allegedly trying to sneak into Iraq. France's chief anti-terrorism judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, warned in New York on Tuesday that Europe is facing a "pretty high" threat of a terror attack - and that the risk is constantly growing. Bruguiere has also repeatedly expressed concern that French fighters in Iraq could return home with skills and training to carry out terror attacks in France.

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