Results tagged “France”
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President Hollande confirmed that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, a senior leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, was killed "during combat led by the French military in the Ifoghas Mountains in northern Mali at the end of February." France appointed a new ambassador to Mali to replace Christian Rouyer, a strong advocate for the French military intervention, who had disagreed with Foreign Minister Fabius.
A top French counterterrorism judge warned that some 50 to 80 French citizens are believed to have traveled to Syria for jihad, a number much higher than previously acknowledged. The jihadists' travel is not impeded by French authorities, he said, as the French government supports the Syrian rebel side, and they can enter Turkey without visas and easily cross over into Syria.
France said it plans to introduce a UN resolution this month for an April vote on the establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali to replace the French-led mission. At least three Frenchmen have gone to Mali for jihad.
Authorities said three French Islamists arrested last week near Marseilles were planning a terrorist attack on or about the one-year anniversary of the murders by al Qaeda-inspired shooter Mohamed Merah this month. Intercepted communications, as well as weapons and explosives found at the home of one of the suspects, including "a veritable laboratory for making improvised explosive devices," suggested that the plans were close to execution.
Defense Minister LeDrian said two Frenchmen have been detained while fighting with jihadists in Mali and are being deported to France. About 12 French citizens are thought to have gone to Mali for jihad. Vistorin Lurel, Minister of Overseas France, said the world needs more dictators like Hugo Chavez.
Security officials arrested two young men, both French citizens, at a house near Marseille on suspicion of plotting attacks, making explosives, and engaging in online terrorist activity. The pair had been under surveillance since they sent a threatening letter to US President Obama in November 2012.