France charged seven alleged Islamist with terrorism
Seven alleged members of a French Islamist cell accused of carrying out an attack on a Jewish food shop and of planning further attacks have been charged with terrorism, French public radio reports.
The suspects, who were arrested at the weekend in raids in the Paris region, Strasbourg and Cannes, have been placed in preventive custody, the station said on Friday.
They are accused of attempted murder as part of a terrorist enterprise over the September 19 attack on a kosher food store in the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles. One person was slightly injured when two youths tossed a grenade into the shop.
The seven, who are aged between 19 and 25, are also accused of conspiring to carry out further attacks, following the discovery of bomb-making ingredients at a garage near Paris used by the chief suspect, Jeremy Bailly.
Police found a list of French Jewish organisations at Bailly’s home.
Some of the suspects had planned to travel to Syria to join jihadist groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said on Thursday.
The authorities have described the group as “extremely dangerous”. One suspect was killed in a shootout with police in Strasbourg on Saturday.
The profile of the suspects has drawn comparisons with Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old delinquent-turned-radical Islamist who killed seven people, including three Jewish children, in the southwestern city of Toulouse in March.
Two of the seven suspects have previous convictions for theft or drugs. All, bar one, are recent converts to Islam.