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TERRORISM

‘Counter-terror raids’ carried out near Paris

UPDATED: Counter-terror raids were carried out on Thursday afternoon in a suburb to the north west of Paris.

'Counter-terror raids' carried out near Paris
File photo of a previous raid in the suburb of Argenteuil. Photo: AFP

Elite police commando units were carrying out several counter-terrorism in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil on Thursday afternoon, according to reports in the French press.

The raids, which began around 2.30pm were being carried out at two separate addresses in the suburb but it is unclear at this stage what had prompted the police to act.

French news channel Itéle quoted police sources saying the raids were being carried out by internal intelligence services and specialist Swat teams from the elite police unit Raid.

A police told Le Figaro newspaper that the raids were ordered after an intelligence tip off from an anonymous member of the public and had no connection with the Nice attack. The information given to police suggested a violent attack may have been being planned, the source told the newspaper.

Security cordons had been set up around the site where the raids were taking place. Later reports from the French press stated 20 individuals had been arrested but not guns or explosives had been found.

Initial reports that suggested a mosque and a Muslim bookshop were targeted in the raids were later believed to be false.

French authorities have not officially confirmed the motive for the raids that took place in the same suburb of Argenteuil that saw a major counter-terror operation in March that led to the arrest of Reda Kriket,

The French government believes Kriket was plotting to carry out an attack during the Euro 2016 football tournament.

He was arrested in possession of Kalashnikovs and explosives and had links to the terror network behind the Paris and Brussels attacks.

“The arrest is the result intricate work carried out over the last few weeks by intelligence services,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at the time.

The minister confirmed the man arrested was of French nationality and was “involved in the plot at a high level” and that he was “involved in a terrorist network that was ready to attack France.”

Thursday's operation comes as France remains on high alert for terrorism attacks, following last Thursday's truck rampage in Nice that left 84 dead.

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CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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