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Jihadists 'stashed thousands of euros' among graves at famous Paris cemetery

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Jihadists 'stashed thousands of euros' among graves at famous Paris cemetery
Photo: Jim Linwood/WikiCommons
17:09 CET+01:00
Police say that they recovered a stash of jihadist money that was hidden in the famous Paris Montparnassee cemetery.
Anti-terrorist police say they recovered €13,300 that was hidden in a crack in a grave in the Montparnasse cemetery, reported Le Parisien newspaper on Tuesday
 
The famous cemetery in the south of Paris is a popular stop on the tourist circuit due to some of the famous names that are buried there such as singer Serge Gainsbourg, philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and Irish writer Samuel Beckett.
 
A police source told the paper that the cash was found and removed from the cemetery during the summer after police managed to infiltrate the jihadist cell.
 
The money was allegedly to be used for buying weapons for a terrorist group that police dismantled in November in Strasbourg and Marseille
 
A police officer managed to infiltrate the group by posing as a jihadist himself, reported the paper. 
 
An Isis leader in Syria reportedly told the undercover police officer via Telegram, an encrypted app popular among terrorist groups, that he was to use the money for buying four Kalashnikov rifles and ammunition. 
 
He was then given detailed directions to a crack in a specific tombstone where the money was hidden, which police recovered the next day.
 
The message read: "Take the small dirt track which goes to the left of the green sign "28th division 3rd section", continue straight ... you will find the tomb in the name of (...), the package is in a crack between the tombstone and the flagstone Falls. "

The money was reportedly stored in an envelope in 100 and 50-euro notes. 
 
Five months later, however, police raided the apartments of seven suspected members of the group and arrested seven. 
 
The arrests of the alleged plotters from France, Morocco and Afghanistan "enabled us to prevent a long-planned terror attack on our soil," former Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at the time. 
 
A police source said at the time that investigators found the suspects had made internet searches on sites including the Christmas market on the prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue, the Disneyland Paris theme park, cafe terraces in the northeast of the capital, the Paris criminal police headquarters and a Metro station.
 
France remains in a state of emergency that gives security forces enhanced powers to mount surveillance and launch raids, over a year after attacks by jihadists on Paris that left 130 people dead.
 
Security and fears about Islamic extremism are playing a major role in campaigning ahead of France presidential elections due in April and May this year.
 
 
 
 
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