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French arrest 6 in jihad-training sweep

Associated Press / May 11, 2011

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PARIS — French police arrested six men yesterday, including an Indian who was seized at the airport as he arrived from Algeria, as they investigated an alleged recruiting network to train jihad fighters in Pakistan.

Police swept into homes in a search for clues and were holding the suspects following the arrests north of Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport and in the towns of Stains and Garges-les-Gonesse.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters about the arrests yesterday during a news conference ending a meeting on fighting cocaine trafficking.

Another Interior Ministry official said the arrests did not immediately appear to have links to any possible terrorism plots in France.

Those arrested are thought to have links with two residents of the Paris region arrested in January in Lahore, Pakistan, and suspected of wanting to train for a holy war, according to a police official. The official requested anonymity.

France and other Western countries remain on high alert for possible terror attacks after Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a May 2 US military raid in Pakistan.

Counterterrorism officials in France have long been aware that homegrown militants could travel to countries including Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to get training in weapons.

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