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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora