Islamic leader caught in terrorist funds probe

20th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - The leader of a national Islamic group in France has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering activities linked to extremist Muslims, police said Tuesday.

PARIS, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - The leader of a national Islamic group in France has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering activities linked to extremist Muslims, police said Tuesday.

Dhaou Meskine, the secretary general of the Council of Imams of France, was apprehended Monday with 20 members of his family and aides as part of a swoop ordered by Paris prosecutors.

Many of the arrests took place in the northwest Seine-Maritime region, where Meskine and his family have bought property with the aim of building a leisure park, officers said.

Meskine, of Tunisian background, is an imam, or Islamic religious leader, who helped start inter-religious dialogue in France between Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy consulted him several times in his dealings with France's Muslim community, which is western Europe's largest with an estimated five million members.

In 2001, Meskine founded France's first private Muslim high school, which is located in the northern Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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