Italy charges two Al-Qaeda French prisoners

12th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

The two prisoners were allegedly preparing an attack on Paris’ Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.

ROME – Italian authorities have charged two French prisoners with membership of an Al-Qaeda cell which was preparing an attack on France's main international airport, ANSA news agency reported Tuesday.

The pair, who have spent the last six months in a prison in Bari, had identified Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport as one of their targets and they had also planned an attack in Britain, the agency reported.

The two men were an imam, Bassam Ayachi, 63, a Syrian who had obtained French nationality, and a French citizen identified as 34-year-old Raphael Gendron, said the agency, citing the two investigating magistrates' file.

According to the file, drawn up by magistrates Roberto Rossi and Francesca Romana, the two men had "planned and organised terrorist attacks and guerrilla actions".

Equipped with arms and explosives, the two men had also set up a recruitment and training network for militants ready to commit suicide attacks or to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the dossier alleged.

France, Britain and Italy all have soldiers serving in a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

The two men had been arrested in November 2008 when they were caught using their camping car to try to smuggle in illegal immigrants from Greece, ANSA reported.

Police in Bari, contacted by AFP, were not able to immediately confirm the report.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article