Bomb kit found in Paris car park after terror arrests

 

Police have found bomb-making materials in a car park near Paris as part of an investigation into an “extremely dangerous terrorist cell” linked to an attack on a kosher grocery.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the discovery in Torcy, east of the capital, led authorities to invoke a rarely used legal clause to allow them to extend questioning of 12 suspects by a day - and possibly two.

The country has been on high alert for possible terror attacks by radical Islamists after a man who claimed links to al-Qa'ida shot and killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three paratroopers in southern France in March.

Investigators were led to the underground car park through information collected during questioning of the suspects, who were arrested in weekend raids across France in a probe of a firebombing of the grocery north of Paris last month, Mr Molins said.

It is believed the two organisers of a September 19 grenade attack in Sarcelles are in custody, he said. However, he suggested that the two people who actually carried it out could still be at large.

"When there is a serious risk of the imminence of a terrorist action in France, police custody - after 96 hours - can be extended by 24 hours," he said.

It was only the second such extension since a 2006 revision to France's powerful anti-terrorism legislation. In most terrorism cases, police can detain suspects for questioning for up to four days before preliminary charges are filed or the suspects are released for a lack of enough evidence to merit prosecution.

In Torcy, investigators recovered bags of potassium nitrate, sulphur, saltpetre, headlight bulbs and a pressure cooker - "all products or instruments useful to make what are called 'improvised explosive devices,"' Mr Molins said.

"We can say that we are clearly and objectively facing an extremely dangerous terrorist cell," he said.

On Saturday police found weapons, cash and a list of Paris-area Israeli associations after the raids conducted in eastern Strasbourg, near the Riviera resort of Cannes, and in the Paris area - including Torcy. In Strasbourg, police shot dead Jeremie Louis-Sidney, whom they suspect to be the cell's leader, after he opened fire at them with a revolver.

The suspects in custody are French and recent converts to Islam. Four of them had written wills. One was carrying a loaded gun.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss