News Agencies – November 11, 2010
Five alleged Islamic terrorists arrested in Paris this week were planning to assassinate the city’s leading Muslim cleric. All of the men, who are French passport holders, are believed to have returned from fighting British and American troops alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The murder plot against Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the French capital’s main mosque, was foiled at the eleventh hour thanks to a tip-off. Secret intelligence officers were able to move in on two Frenchmen of Algerian descent as they arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport from Egypt. Armed police arrested three other men from similar backgrounds in flats in the Paris suburbs the next day.
Boubaker has been under armed guard since last month after radicals issued threats following the introduction of a burka ban in France – a measure which many see as overtly anti-Muslim.
The foiled plot illustrates the growing rift between Islamic moderates and those prepared to kill and maim in the name of their religion, said Mr Boubaker.