19 Islamists arrested in French raids prior to presidential election

Is Sarkozy being vigilant? Or political? BBC: Police in France have arrested 19 suspected Islamist militants and seized weapons in a series of dawn raids, President Nicolas Sarkozy says. The raids were in Toulouse, the home of gunman Mohamed Merah, and other cities. Merah, who killed seven people in three separate attacks, was buried in Toulouse on Thursday after being killed in a shoot-out with police on 22 March. Police have been hunting possible accomplices but sources said there was no direct link with the raids. Mr Sarkozy told Europe 1 radio after Friday's raids: "It's our duty to guarantee the security of the French people. We have no choice. It's absolutely indispensable. The raids were carried out by the domestic intelligence agency, the DCRI, with the help of the elite Raid police commando group, Agence France-Presse news agency reports. Several of the raids were in Toulouse, particularly the Mirail quarter, sources told AFP. But there were also raids in Nantes,...(Read Full Post)

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