French anti-terror police on Wednesday found bomb-making materials and chemicals
in a garage near Paris during their investigation into an anti-Jewish Islamist
network suspected of being behind last month’s attack on a Jewish grocery store
The raid was led by the police anti-terrorist units in
several cities across France. In Strasbourg, the prime suspect, Jeremie Louis
Sidney, 33, was shot dead after he opened fire on police officers.
the course of the operation, 12 suspects were arrested. The investigation
brought the police to a garage, property of one the suspects, located in Torcy
where the findings included “a shotgun, a revolver, potassium, nitrate, sulphur
and a pressure cooker,” said prosecutor Francois Molins.
“These are all
products used to make so-called improvised explosives,” said the
The suspects would be held for a further 24 hours, he added,
and “the detention of the dozen could be extended by a further six days if
necessary,” he said, “it is essential to extend their stay in
Four of the men arrested Saturday had written wills and one was
carrying gun – all signs, according to specialists, of the intention to die as a
shahid (martyr) after perpetrating terrorist attacks.
“We are clearly
confronted with an extremely dangerous terrorist network,” said the
Over the weekend, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls
warned, on France 2 television, against “the threat of terrorism in France.” He
told French radio RTL that the attacks are “directed mainly against Jews,” and
“Jewish hatred is conducted over the web.”
On Sunday, French President
Francois Hollande met with the heads of the French Jewish community and promised
them to “fight with intransigence against racism and anti-
“Any act, any words, will be punished most severely,” said
At the same time as the meeting was in process, reported French
TV, witnesses heard blanks shot in the direction of a synagogue in the town
Argenteuil near Paris.
After the meeting, Joel Merguy, president of the
Jewish community told France 2, “We never make an amalgam [between Islamists and
the Muslim population], but we expect Muslim leaders to condemn – again – the
Merguy told journalists that “further steps are going
to be taken” against Islamists.
France 2 noted that “there is a new
profile [of Islamists], all of them are French, not yet registered [by security
services] and already radicalized.”
During the course of operation in
Strasbourg, Islamist literature and a list of Jewish associations in the Paris
area were discovered by investigators.
Sidney had been the leader of the
group and his DNA, found on the grenade thrown at Sarcelles, led police to
He was known to police since serving time for drug-trafficking in
2008. After that he converted to Islam, and visited North Africa.
Hollande’s meeting with the Jewish community, he called the president of the
Muslim community, Muhammad Moussaoui, to whom he expressed his desire for a
meeting based on republican values.
“The perpetrators of criminal acts
must not be confused with the Muslim population of our country,” said the
Another Jewish leader, Richard Pasquier, compared Islamism to
Nazism, as the meeting at the Elysee Palace drew to a close.
a monstrous ideology, an ideology of hatred, that one can only compare to Nazi
ideology. To be compassionate with radical Islam means to be compassionate with
Nazism,” Pasquier told journalists.
During Succot police presence was
reinforced around synagogues and other Jewish centers.