France: Radical Islamist Shot Dead By Police, 11 Islamists Arrested, Synagogue Attacked, Authorities Step Up Security At Jewish Sites
By Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian – “France has increased security at Jewish religious sites after blank shots were fired at a synagogue west of Paris and police arrested 11 people on suspicion of being part of an Islamist jihadist cell.
François Hollande held talks with Jewish community leaders at the Elysée and announced that security would be stepped up immediately at religious sites. He said the state was ‘totally mobilised against terrorist threats’ and ‘intransigent’ in fighting racism and antisemitism.
On Saturday evening, blank bullets were fired from a car at a synagogue in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil while worshippers were inside the building. Earlier on Saturday, police raids outside Paris, Cannes and Strasbourg led to a series of arrests in connection with what the state prosecutor described as a suspected radical Islamist cell.
The main target in the raids was a 33-year-old man in Strasbourg whose DNA was found on a grenade used in a daylight attack on a Jewish kosher grocery store in Sarcelles, north of Paris, last month, in which one person was wounded. When police arrived to arrest him before dawn on Saturday, he opened fire with a handgun and was shot dead by officers.
A convicted drug dealer, he was described as a ‘delinquent who converted to radical Islam’ and was said by police to have been determined to ‘end as a martyr’. Three of the people arrested had a criminal record for offences such drug-trafficking, theft and violence.” Read more.
Flashback: ‘Worrisome’: The Role of Drug Trafficking in Promoting and Financing Today’s Global Terrorism – “Speaking at a recent conference in Istanbul, ‘The Role of Drug Trafficking in Promoting and Financing Today’s Global Terrorism,’ jointly organized by Turkey, the United States and Colombia, UNODC Senior Terrorism Prevention Officer Irka Kuleshnyk said that ‘While it is difficult to establish how widely terrorist groups are involved in the illicit drug trade, or the breadth and nature of cooperation between these two criminal groups, the magnitude of the numbers involved make the relationship worrisome.’ According to the UNODC’s World Drug Report 2007, the total potential value of Afghanistan’s 2006 opium harvest accruiing to farmers, laboratory owners and Afghan traffickers reached about $US3.1 billion.” Read more.