The men arrested last weekend are suspected of having wanted to commit an attack on the 1st of December.
World | • updated | By
We now know more about the vast operation of the dismantling of a terrorist sleeper cell in France, that had been announced, on Monday, November 21, by the minister of the interior Bernard Cazeneuve. During a press conference, organized on Friday, 25 November, the public prosecutor of Paris François Molins, has returned to this folder, so that all police custody of seven men arrested early this week between Strasbourg and Marseille, have been exercised or have arrived at the end of the legal maximum allowed.
as A result of those auditions, five men have been brought in the day, and were to be presented to a magistrate with a view to their implementation in review. The other two were released in the middle of the week, on the 22nd of November, confirmed the prosecutor. A judicial information was opened in the framework for ” participation in a criminal association with terrorist in view of the preparation of crimes against persons, purchase, detention, transport, supply and sale of illegal weapons and ammunition of categories A and B, while meeting and in relation with a terrorist enterprise “.
A sponsor common
Then for a time was considered the trail of an attack to target ” multiple “, Mr. Molins has conceded that the investigations could not, in the state, to confirm this hypothesis with certainty, even if the men arrested in Marseille and in Strasbourg, had ” common instructions “. Similarly, while the first elements of the investigation tended to prove that all of these men did not know each other, the seized computer and cell were able to show that they were in contact very close for a long time, closed-network, on an e-mail that is encrypted and a phone line ” dedicated “. The men arrested in Strasbourg were all childhood friends. On the other hand, they had not ” direct contacts “ with one of the individuals arrested in Marseille, Hicham E., age 46. A Moroccan reported in Portugal, his country of residence, to radicalization, and who has attempted at least once to get to the Turkish-syrian border.
The common point between the latter and the men of Strasbourg, was a sponsor installed in the area iraq-syria. A man whose kunyas or “code name” is “Abu Ali” according to our information, a francophone, which might have been present also in Turkey.
A safehouse in the woods of Montmorency
Among the five men arrested, two appear to have played a particularly important role. Hicham M. and Yassin B., two returnees (people who have gone to Syria and returned) alleged. They would have started to have the intention to leave for Syria as early as 2012. But they would not have taken the plunge in 2015. Since then, “Abu Ali” would have remained in contact with them and would be guided step by step until the project of an attack to be relatively precise by the Directorate-general of internal security (ISB) has prevented the implementation.
Shortly before their arrest, the two returnees, Hicham M. and Yassin B., had been transmitted GPS coordinates, by an application encrypted, a hideout located in the woods of Montmorency, in the Val-d’oise. A safehouse where they would have been able to recover several kalashnikovs and ammunition.
While this safehouse had been referred to as a “trap” set by the ISB, in the context of undercover work conducted in collaboration with the interdepartmental office of technical assistance (SIAT) – the service that manages undercover agents, François Molins, has not expressed a view on this method of working. the ” I am not focusing my comments not, for compelling reasons, you will understand, the techniques and tools that have been specifically put in place (…). I refuse to do so, in order not to jeopardize our action in the fight against terrorism “, he argued.
Feature of the record, Hicham M. and Yassin B. had not been identified by the intelligence services upon their return to Turkey. They left together, but by a route so unusual. They would first took the plane to the island of Cyprus and then would be entered in Turkey by seaway via the port of Mersin, while many of the aspirants to the jihad have long used the plane directly to Istanbul, and chose the road. Are they gone on the syrian side ? The investigation will determine that. Their return would not in any case lasted only a few days.
A specific target, which remains to be determined
four of the Locals were almost all well above the thirties, and are from the popular neighborhoods of the city, including the Neuhof. Hicham M., 37 years old, is a warehouseman and lived at home with his parents, Yassin B. is agent extra-curricular, Sami. B, 26 years old, franco-tunisian, working in a grocery store and is the father of three children. The fourth, Zacharia M., 35 years old, is a French-moroccan. Only two of them have a criminal record, Sami B., and Hicham M., with respectively seven and six convictions to their credit.
The specific target of the project of attack is still to be determined. It is not certain that she had been very precise at the time of the arrests. Only the date of the passage of the act of commando, Strasbourg was relatively established : the 1st December. For the rest, it is rather deductions from the demarcation telephone, and the consultation of websites and Google searches identified in the computers and phone seized : are included places of worship, the seat of the ISB or the 36, quai des Orfèvres. Addresses in the 20e arrondissement and military targets also have been a moment contemplated, as well as orders given for an action on the Champs-Elysées.
Allegiances to the ir
In perquisitionnant the homes of all these individuals, the interviewers have in any case discovered in the two returnees alleged, Hicham M. and Yassin, B., allegiances clear to the organization islamic State (EI). In the second were also found a handgun, an automatic pistol, magazines and ammunition. There was also the home of Zacharia M. an automatic pistol and a submachine-gun, as well as ammunition. The investigators have finally found downloaded on the phones of Hisham M. and Yassine B. the application Periscope, which allows you to shoot while broadcasting its live video. So many clues that suggested, according to the prosecutor of the Republic Paris, ” the imminent passage to the act “.
The dismantling in the night from 19 to 20 November of the terrorist cell alleged fact as a result of investigations that began in February and had led to a first series of five arrests in June, a few days after the start of the Euro football and in the aftermath of the killing of a policeman and his companion in Magnanville (Yvelines). At the time, we had only been able to establish that the individuals concerned were making many loans to the consumer suspects, and that they were in a relationship with a sponsor that is installed in Syria. These five men were from Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and Paris. Three were released without charges, but two of them have been indicted and placed in detention : a 38-year-old native of Moselle, and another of 40 years, a Franco-Malian born in Paris. Investigations are still in process, the records are still separated on the judicial level, but this first wave would correspond to the “financial” project of attack, finally 8221; confounded “ this weekend.
also Read : A terror attack “foiled” is reminiscent of the persistence of cells organized in France