French judge questions Islamic suspects

1st October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 30 (AFP) - A French anti-terrorist judge Friday questioned four suspected Islamic extremists believed to be part of a plot to attack Paris targets, sources close to the investigation told AFP.

PARIS, Sept 30 (AFP) - A French anti-terrorist judge Friday questioned four suspected Islamic extremists believed to be part of a plot to attack Paris targets, sources close to the investigation told AFP.

The four were part of a group of nine people arrested in the Paris suburbs and in Normandy on Monday. The five others have been released.

According to official sources, one of the suspects remaining in detention, Safe Bourrada, 35, is thought to be the cell's leader. He was sentenced to jail in 1998 for participating in a series of metro bomb attacks in Paris that killed eight people in 1995 but was freed two years ago.

The prisoners were scheduled to appear before another judge who was to decide whether they should be jailed, as the prosecution is asking, and to decide on the conditions for their detention.

At least one of the suspects was said to have confirmed to investigators that the group planned to carry out attacks in the capital, targeting the headquarters of the French domestic intelligence service, the metro and Orly airport.

The sources told AFP that the suspects called their group Ansar al-Fath, and linked it to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the main armed Islamist movement in Algeria with links to al-Qaeda. The GSPC has named France as "enemy number one".

French authorities ordered Monday's raids after the Algerian government told them about the alleged plot it discovered during the questioning of another suspected member, M'Hamed Benyamina, 34, arrested at the airport in Oran, Algeria on September 9.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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