Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Attack foiled : what we know about the suspects arrested in Marseille and Strasbourg – Obs

A network, controlled from Syria, is suspected of having wanted to commit one or more terrorist attack(s) in France : after the crackdown of anti-terrorism made last weekend in Strasbourg and Marseille, the five men were still in custody Tuesday, and investigators are seeking to identify the target or targets envisaged. The network seems to be more structured than in past attacks or plans for attacks on France. The cell was compartmentalized : some members have never been in contact, only linked between them by an outsourcer established in Syria, according to a source close to the investigation.


Four French, unknown to the intelligence services, have been arrested in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Strasbourg. Two handguns, an automatic pistol, a submachine gun, as well as of the propaganda of jihadist were found during the searches. Yassine B., 37 years old, a civil servant in a primary school in the district of la Meinau, and Hicham M., 37 years, are believed to have earned Syria in 2015, passing by Cyprus. Sami B., 36 years old, and Zakaria M., 35 years old, have also been placed in police custody.

Strasbourg and Marseille : the incredible survey that has helped to thwart a new terrorist attack

As the revealed “Obs” Monday, Yassine B. was an employee’s co-curriculars, in position in a primary school in the Meinau. Two of the four automatic pistols were found in his home. His work computer has been seized at the primary school. He looked after the children at lunchtime. After the canteen, he was playing with them. A meeting was held at the school with representatives of the town hall and psychologists. At the exit, the parents were flabbergasted, as they recount in this story of France 2.


At the same time, in Marseille, the general Directorate of internal security (ISB) questioned three suspects. Among them, Hicham E., a Moroccan, 46 years old, of particular interest to the investigators. Living in Portugal, he was under surveillance for several months by the services of the country after many trips suspects in Europe. It had been reported to the French authorities as a radicalized. The money was seized during his arrest, and investigators suspect he had a role as a fund raiser for the network. The other two men arrested, suspected of having played a role in his accommodation, were released Tuesday evening.

months Of investigations

The investigation, which had begun in February, had led to a first series of stops on the 14th of June last, in the full Euro football. Two French, network-related, were indicted and arrested : Nasser B., 38 years old, and Lamary N., 40 years old. The investigation established that they had contracted consumer credits to finance terrorist activities, a practice common among the jihadists, which has in particular been used Amedy Coulibaly, the killer of the Hyper Hide in January of 2015.

according To the source close to the investigation, the two suspects interacted “with a customer established in Syria monitored by the intelligence services of the French.” The latter then decided to reach out a bait, putting in place a weapons cache in the Val-d’oise, in the paris area, monitored 24 hours on 24 for several months, to try to attract the other members of the network likely to go on the attack. On 14 November, the investigation is accelerating : the ISB receives information suggesting that a passage to the act is imminent and organizes, in the emergency, an operation that led to the broad sweep of last weekend.

The shadow of Daech

The cell appears to have been controlled from Syria by a member of the organization, the jihadist islamic State (EI), according to investigators. In addition to the suspicions of the stay in Syria of Yassine B., and Hicham M., multiple encrypted messages have been exhumed between the client and some members of the network. And, while the AES is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, “the incentives to act in France had recently intensified,” according to the source.

targets still unclear

According to the information of iTélé, one of five alleged terrorists of the locals, arrested in the night from Saturday to Sunday has delivered during his time in custody, many targets to which the commando had to be addressed, including a high-place of the police. Moreover, investigators have found during searches of computers is a list of potential targets, which include an amusement park, not mentioned by the detainee.


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