French police arrest 6 suspected Islamic radicals

AP News
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Posted: May 10, 2011 2:19 PM
French police arrest 6 suspected Islamic radicals

French police arrested six men on Tuesday, including an Indian seized at the airport as he arrived from Algeria, as they investigated a recruiting network to train jihad fighters in Pakistan.

Police swept into homes in a search for clues and were holding the suspects following the arrests north of Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport and in the towns of Stains and Garges-les-Gonesse.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters about the arrests Tuesday during a news conference ending a meeting on fighting cocaine trafficking.

Another Interior Ministry official said the arrests did not immediately appear to have links to any possible terrorism plots in France.

Those arrested are thought to have links with two French persons from the Paris region arrested in January in Lahore, Pakistan, and suspected of wanting to train for a holy war, according to a police official. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case and requested anonymity.

A seventh person was detained but later released, the official said.

France and other Western countries remain on high alert for possible terror attacks after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a May 1 U.S. military raid in Pakistan.

Counterterrorism officials in France have long been aware that homegrown militants could travel to countries including Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan to get training in weapons and explosives, and then return to carry out terror attacks in France.