Tuesday, October 05, 2010

French Police Arrest 12 In Terror Sweep

At least 12 al Qaeda suspects arrested around Europe in a plot to attack targets in France.
Three of the men allegedly linked to man caught with bomb-making kit in Naples; arrests come as US, France, other European nations have stepped up terrorism alert vigilance.

French authorities arrested twelve men on Tuesday morning on suspicion of involvement with al-Qaida and terror plots, news agencies reported.AFP reported a police source as saying the men were detained in the southern French cities of Marseille and Bordeaux. According to an official, police seized "some weapons, including a Kalashnikov and a pump-action shotgun, as well as ammunition."

Also on Tuesday, French police arrested three men said to be linked to a man of Algerian origin taken into custody by Italian police in Naples on Saturday, who is due to be extradited to France. Police reportedly found the phone numbers for the three men in the mobile phone of the Algerian man.

The man, 28, had been under a European arrest warrant when he was caught, allegedly with a bomb-making kit.
Depending on how you read the numbers, we're looking at least at 13 (9 arrested in one sweep in France, 1 arrested in Italy, 3 arrested in France in connection with the Italy arrest).

Intel was gathered from another captured terrorist in Afghanistan, which led law enforcement and intel services to disrupt and arrest this group. CNN provides more information on the source of the intel:
Western intelligence officials say they learned about the potential attacks after Ahmed Sidiqi, a German citizen of Afghan descent, was arrested in Afghanistan in July and taken to the U.S. air base at Bagram for questioning. He has not been charged, and intelligence sources in Germany said he was cooperating with the investigation. According to German intelligence officials, Sidiqi and 10 others left Hamburg in 2009 for the tribal areas of Pakistan -- where most of the group joined a jihadist group fighting U.S. and coalition forces across the border in Afghanistan.

Sidiqi told American interrogators that at least one member of his travel group was to be a "foot soldier" in the plot, with other members of the group helping to plan the attacks, a European counterterrorism official told CNN.
Sidiqi's sister says that he had attended the Hamburg Germany mosque where 9/11 collaborators attended. Other relatives are in denial, claiming that Sidiqi would not get himself involved in terror ops, but his actions apparently betray that notion.

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