Six French youths attack Jewish teen

Jewish group says assailants beat, humiliated victim and wrote "dirty Jew" on his forehead.

Six youths in France have been detained for allegedly torturing a Jewish teenager by punching him, sexually humiliating him and writing "dirty Jew" on his forehead, France's main Jewish organization said Wednesday. The 19-year-old victim went alone to a meeting with the youths in the Paris suburb of Bagneux to try to settle an argument with them on February 22, the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, or CRIF, said. Instead the teenager was allegedly tortured, taunted for being Jewish and accused of being gay, CRIF said. To terrify him, attackers allegedly made repeated references to a young French Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in 2006, CRIF said. The six alleged attackers have been detained and investigators filed preliminary charges against them this week including committing "acts of torture or barbarism," CRIF said. Judicial officials did not immediately return calls seeking details. The Bagneux City Hall said in a statement that officials were "shocked and outraged" by the attack. CRIF's president, Richard Prasquier, said that though anti-Semitic attacks were down 30 percent last year, the attack suggests that "anti-Semitic prejudice is still very present." France has western Europe's largest population of Jews and Muslims, and faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 after tensions between Israelis and Palestinians flared up in the Middle East.