News

France Arrests 10 in Terror Crackdown

French members of the French National Police Intervention Group (GIPN) arrest a suspected radical Islamist group member, on April 4, 2012, in Roubaix.
French members of the French National Police Intervention Group (GIPN) arrest a suspected radical Islamist group member, on April 4, 2012, in Roubaix.

Police in France have arrested more suspected Islamist extremists in their crackdown against militants following a string of killings last month by a man claiming ties to al-Qaida. Opposition politicians are questioning the timing of the crackdown, ahead of this month's presidential elections.

Police arrested 10 people in early-morning sweeps in several towns in northern and southern France. Investigators said they also recovered three Kalashnikov rifles and several handguns. The arrests follow similar operations last week targeting 19 suspected Islamist extremists.

A man, interviewed on BFM television, said about 40 police broke down his door to arrest his son. He called the raid shameful.

Wednesday's operation is part of a larger government crackdown against suspected radicals following last month's shooting deaths of seven people by French-Algerian Islamist Mohamed Merah. Before dying in a firefight with police, Merah claimed to have ties with al-Qaida and said he received training in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thirteen of those arrested last week have been charged with terrorism. Several are members of a banned Islamist group called Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Pride. In addition, French authorities announced Monday they have expelled five radical Islamist preachers. The government has also barred several foreign preachers from entering the country to attend an Islamic conference.

Authorities are careful not to link the recent arrests to the Merah killings, but President Nicolas Sarkozy says France now has a zero-tolerance policy toward extremism.

In a television interview Sarkozy said the government will no longer tolerate language of hate and violence, and he vowed foreigners who make such statements will be deported immediately.

Less than three weeks before the first round of presidential elections, the crackdown has given Sarkozy a bounce (boost) in opinion polls. But his rivals are questioning the timing of the police raids, suggesting the government should have acted earlier. They also criticize the highly publicized nature of the crackdown, with some French media offering live coverage of the operations.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang
April 06, 2012 10:45 PM
to Unicorn and Eagle, what about your precious speech freedom and everyday human rights? ohn. People should have the right to express their anger, hater against anything, right? you just slap on your own face. To Gab, to those Muslims, west governments are repressive regimes! They dont even have the right to put on their tradition niqabs.

by: Gab to " I don't think"
April 05, 2012 5:46 AM
You have to objectively see the difference between blind indiscriminate hatred, and the very real problem we have before us, which is Islam extreme, Islamic terrorism, and political Islam. Can you name one Country where political Islam benefits anyone other than repressive regimes?

by: Roland
April 04, 2012 7:31 AM
There are about 6 million Muslims in France how many of those you think hold anti-Western anti-Liberal anti-Jewish views? Here is a tip it's not 20.You will need a lot more raids to clean that out.

by: Eagle Kiss 1
April 04, 2012 5:55 AM
I agree with Unicorn. Besides, all those who express hatred against France and her values should be expelled or at least asked to leave. There is no reason for such people to be in France. You do not enter someone's home, ask for a place to live and hate or harm the host's family at the same time.

by: Paul E. Bahre
April 04, 2012 5:27 AM
It's about time that somebody in Europe got serious about routing out the Islamic radicals. I'm sure there will be no end to these efforts.

by: Unicorn
April 04, 2012 5:01 AM
Just arresting terrorists does not appear to be an effective means of stopping them. Maybe if caught and convicted, not only them but every member of their families were deported may have some effect when they could see that their actions were effecting their immediate families as well. Then maybe members of their families would play a part in curbing their activities.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs