French Police Detain More Islamist Militants
French police on Tuesday detained four more suspected Islamist militants in the Paris region on orders of anti-terrorist judges probing extremist networks in France.
The four suspects were arrested in early morning raids at their homes, which were searched for weapons.
Police said Tuesday's raids were not linked to a similar swoop in the Paris area on Friday that led to the detention of seven other Islamist militants.
Friday's swoop was linked to a Europe-wide crackdown on Islamist extremist circles in the wake of the September 11 suicide bombings in the United States.
French authorities believe the seven suspects who were to appear at a hearing later Tuesday are linked to a network in Europe close to Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks on the United States.
The network, said to be headed by Djamel Beghal, a Franco-Algerian arrested in Dubai in July, allegedly planned to attack US interests in France, including the embassy in Paris and the consulate in the southern city of Marseille.
Several alleged members of this network have been arrested in Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium police also seized chemical products used to make bombs.
The suspects, aged between 20 and 32, had all been placed under surveillance prior to the terror kamikaze attacks in the United States and were ordered detained in the wake of the attacks out of fear they might flee.
Le Monde newspaper said the suspects were awaiting Beghal's return to Europe before launching attacks in France.
French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere traveled to the United Arab Emirates last week to question Beghal -- PARIS (AFP)
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