Police in Paris hold terrorism suspects

Click to follow
The Independent Online

French police believe they have dismantled a terrorist network linked to Osama bin Laden that had been planning attacks in France and other European countries.

Four people were arrested in the greater Paris area yesterday morning. Seven other suspects, rounded up last week, were taken before France's leading anti-terrorist judge for questioning in the afternoon.

The French internal security force believes the suspects are inspired by an Egyptian Islamist movement, Tafkir wal-Hijra ("anathema and exile") which is thought to have links with Mr bin Laden. The group is believed to have been planning to attack the American embassy in Paris.

Since the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September, at least 50 people have been arrested or remain under surveillance in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The man suspected of leading the movement, Djamel Beghal, 36, an Algerian-born French national, was arrested in Dubai this summer. French security sources told Le Monde newspaper yesterday that he had made visits to training camps in Afghanistan.

Mr Beghal has been cited as a member of Mr bin Laden's al-Qa'ida organisation. He is thought to know people at the top of America's wanted list.