French authorities launch crackdown on Islamic terror cells
French police detained 19 people Friday as they launched a crackdown on suspected Islamist extremists in cities around the country, the French president said, promising more raids to come.They're doing the right thing to bar those clerics from entering the country too. But he's not doing enough if he doesn't clearly acknowledge the influence of the Koran, which is exactly what led to the murders committed the past week.
Tensions are high following a spate of killings in southern France by a radical Islamist that left seven people dead and two wounded and ended up with police killing the gunman last week after a 32-hour standoff.
President Nicolas Sarkozy gave no details about the reasons for Friday's arrests or what the detainees were suspected of.
"It's in connection with a form of Islamist radicalism," Sarkozy said on Europe-1 radio. "There will be other operations that will continue and that will allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people who have no reason to be here."
Sarkozy said he didn't know whether the 19 detainees were part of any network.
A police investigator told The Associated Press that the anti-terrorist section of the Criminal Brigade detained five men before dawn in Paris who had suspected links to an Islamist movement. Weapons were also seized, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with the department's rules.
The other arrests took place in Toulouse, Marseille, Nantes and Lyon, the official said, adding that these raids were not linked to the inquiry into the slayings in Toulouse and Montauban.
In Nantes, the head of Forsane Alizza, a radical Muslim group that formed two years ago, was among the detained. In October 2011, a preliminary inquiry was opened into the Forsane Alizza organization, and the French Interior Ministry broke up the group in February.
[...] concerns about radical Islam are high, and the government on Thursday banned a string of international Muslim clerics from entering France for a conference of a fundamentalist Islamic group.
They're also going to have to deal with at least 2 other key matters: strenghening immigration laws, and also doing away with the libel laws that allow for turning truth into "hate speech", as in the al-Durah subject.
Update: in a related subject, a 12-year-old Jewish student was attacked in Paris.