Seven Islamists Detained in Paris Region
Seven suspected Islamists were detained early Friday in the Paris region as part of a Europe-wide crackdown in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in the United States, police said.
The suspects, including women, were detained in dawn raids by counter-intelligence officers acting on orders of anti-terrorist magistrates probing threats made against US interests in France.
Officials said the detentions were linked to a series of police raids this week in Belgium and the Netherlands, where several radical Islamists were arrested on allegations that they were plotting to attack the US embassy in Paris and other official American buildings in France.
Several of those detained Friday had been placed under surveillance based on the testimony of a Franco-Algerian man arrested in the United Arab Emirates in July.
The 35-year-old suspect, Djamel Beghal, had told investigators that terrorists planned to attack US interests in France, including the US embassy.
A police source said the raids carried out in the Paris region Friday were prompted by an article in Le Monde newspaper detailing Beghal's testimony.
The source said police had hoped to maintain their surveillance of the suspects in order to gather more evidence. But the article in Le Monde, described as "untimely and irresponsible" by an anti-terrorist judge, forced authorities to act quickly out of fear the suspects may flee -- PARIS (AFP)
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