Headquarters of a Shiite Islamic association suspected of terror links raided by French police

Published By ITCT News Desk On : October 2, 2018
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France: According to reports in French media, authorities in France raided the headquarters of an Islamic Shiite association and the homes of its leaders near the northern city of Dunkirk during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

DW reports:

According to regional officials, raids on the Zahra Centre France and about a dozen homes were staged as part of the “prevention of terrorism” procedures. The association’s leaders are suspected of supporting terrorist organizations, security sources said.

Eleven people were arrested in the pre-dawn raids according to news agency AFP, three of whom face charges for illegal possession of firearms.  The center’s assets have also been frozen.

Police said they had been closely monitoring the activities of the Zahra Centre “because of the strong support by its leaders for several terrorist organizations and in favor of movements backing ideas that are contrary to the values” of France.

The group’s leader, Yahia Gouasmi, is known for his anti-Zionist views and ties to Iran.

The small town of Grande-Synthe, where the Zahra Centre is based, is a magnet for migrants trying to cross the Channel into Britain and a known draw for smuggling activities.

It remained unclear whether the Tuesday’s arrests were linked to a suspected plot in France back in June to attack a gathering of Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

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