Results tagged “France”
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Gilles Le Guen, a jihadist and former French Marine believed to have joined al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, was flown to Paris and handed over to French intelligence for questioning. He was captured by French forces in Timbuktu, Mali, earlier this year.
Convicted Algerian terrorist Said Arif escaped from house arrest in a car belonging to the family who owned the hotel at which he was staying. The al Qaeda-linked member of the "Chechen Network" planned attacks in France, Spain, and elsewhere.
Foreign Minister Fabius urged the UN to designate the Al Nusrah Front a terrorist group. Al Nusrah, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, was added to the US terrorist list in December. France still seeks a diplomatic solution to the Syrian conflict, and wants to increase support for the Syrian National Coalition.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb released a video calling for Muslims to attack "French interests everywhere" to retaliate for the French intervention in Mali. French authorities are concerned about radicalization of Muslim youth in French prisons, where there is a shortage of imams. France reportedly arrested 91 people in 2012 for "religiously-inspired terrorism."
The defense minister said 1,000 French troops would remain in Mali after UN forces arrive; Parliament voted to prolong military operations in Mali. A young man shot and killed three people with a Kalashnikov rifle in the southern town of Istres. Authorities arrested him in Istres and a second suspect in Paris. The shooter reportedly claimed to belong to al Qaeda and believed al Qaeda-linked Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah was innocent; police are looking into the possibility the shooter may be mentally ill.
The Foreign Ministry said talks at the UN had begun on the issue of whether to label the Al Nusrah Front in Syria a terrorist group. France has indicated it will oppose any attempt to label all Syrian opposition fighters as terrorists.
Ibrahim Aziz Ouattara, a French jihadist who was arrested and deported from Mali, was charged in Paris on April 5. He had traveled to Mali using the identity of Khalifa Dramé, who is also being sought by the authorities. A Frenchman who traveled with two other Frenchmen and al Qaeda operative Naamen Meziche to Pakistan is being held by authorities and has not yet been charged.
The French military peacekeeping force in the Ivory Coast has begun training a battalion of 235 Ivorian soldiers for deployment to Mali with a West African force. France is reportedly considering the purchase of unarmed Reaper surveillance drones from the US.
Foreign Minister Fabius proposed that France would keep 1,000 troops in Mali as a counterterrorism force to support UN peacekeeping operations. He also called on the Tuareg MNLA to disarm and join the political process. France hopes the UN peacekeeping force can be approved in the next few weeks.
French authorities released three people, including a soldier, who were arrested earlier this week for suspected links to Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah. So far only his brother Abdelkader has been charged as an accomplice.
Police arrested three people in southern France suspected of ties to al Qaeda-linked gunman Mohamed Merah. One of the suspects is a soldier in the French army, and another comes from Merah's old neighborhood in Toulouse. Authorities are concerned that accomplices of Merah remain at large and present a security threat. Police arrested a suspected terrorist in Lyon.
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.
Bouchra Bagour, 35, was charged with a hate crime for sending her 3-year-old son Jihad to nursery school in Avignon last September wearing a T-shirt that said "I am a bomb" on the front and "Jihad, born on 11 September" on the back. The boy's uncle, who had given him the T-shirt, is a co-defendant.
A pro-Assad hacker group called The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the hacking of two France24 Twitter accounts. The hackers posted false reports of the deaths of Syrian opposition figures Riad al-Asaad and Manaf Tlass.
The families of four French workers kidnapped in 2010 in Niger appealed to the French government to negotiate with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb for the release of the hostages. The families are concerned about consequences from French military operations in Mali.