Friday, October 19, 2018
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

French police raid Muslim association in 'counter-terror' probe

Around 200 police officers raided the headquarters of a Muslim association as well as homes of its members.

Around 200 French police officers have raided the headquarters of a Muslim association as well as the homes of members of the club, in a swoop that authorities said was part of a "counterterrorism" operation.

The raid on Tuesday took place in the town of Grande-Synthe at 0400GMT, near the port city of Dunkirk not far from Calais on France's northern coast.

Targeting an association known as Centre Zahra France, the move included the questioning of at least 11 suspects, of which three were arrested.

A security source told AFP news agency that the financial assets of the centre - headed by Yahia Gouasmi, who according to local reports is known for his links to Iran - were also frozen.

"This is a counterterrorism operation," said a statement by the regional authorities.

"The activities of Centre Zahra France are under particularly close watch ... due to marked support by its leaders for movements advocating ideas contrary to the values of the (French) republic," it said.

On its website, the association says its purpose since its foundation in 2009 has been "to make known the message of Islam."

Gouasmi has spoken in support of Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah and the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, AFP said.

Gouasmi is also the founder of the Anti-Zionist Party in France and is an associate of controversial comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a convicted anti-Semite.

The small town of Grande-Synthe is known as a magnet for migrants seeking to cross the English Channel to Britain.

France remains on maximum security alert after a wave of attacks over recent years, in which close to 250 people lost their lives.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Cyclone Leslie slams into Portugal

Read More

Hunter kills British cyclist in France, police speak of accident

Read More

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny freed from prison

Read More

Bavaria election seen as tough test for Merkel's allies

Read More

Slain Salvadoran archbishop, Pope Paul VI declared saints

Read More

Merkel's Bavarian allies humbled in historic election setback

Read More


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid