French police raided eight cities last Friday and collared 17 suspected terrorists, according to news reports. Among those captured in the raids on Lyon, Paris, Nice, Rouen, Le Mans, Nantes, Marseillie and Toulouse was Willie Brigitte (photo), a terrorist convicted for his role in a plot to destroy the Lucas Heights nuclear research facility near Sydney, Australia.
The raids came eight days after French police killed Muslim terrorist Mohammad Merah, who attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a rabbi and three children. He also shot and killed Muslim French soldiers in two other attacks.
"Kick The Ant Pile"
According to the New York Times, “The raids appeared to have two purposes. The first was to ‘kick the ant pile,’ as the French say — a preventive act to detain a variety of people and interrogate them, to try to ensure that there are no further plots under way and no copycat killings. The president said some Kalashnikov assault rifles had been seized.”
The second seemed to be to reinforce [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy’s image as tough on crime and on Islamic radicalism, an image that is expected to aid him in the presidential election less than a month away.
Sarkozy said “It’s our duty to guarantee the security of the French people. We have no choice. It’s absolutely indispensable,” the BBC reported.
One of the key finds, apparently, came in Nantes, the BBC reported, “which is believed to be a centre for the Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride) group, to which [Mohammed] Merah had been linked by some French media." Reported BBC:
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