France smashes neo-Nazi cell over plot ‘to attack Muslims and Jews’

French police smashed a neo-Nazi cell accused of plotting attacks on Jewish or Muslim places of worship, judicial sources said Tuesday.

France smashes neo-Nazi cell over plot 'to attack Muslims and Jews'
Illustration photo: RAID police unit officers/AFP
Five members of the group, who were “close in ideology to the neo-Nazi movement” were charged between September and May over the alleged plot, which was still “ill-defined”, a source close to the investigation said. 
“The investigation suggested they were developing an ill-defined plot to carry out an attack, likely to target a place of worship,” the judicial source said.
The investigation had been ongoing for several months, leading to the arrest of five people who were planning attacks against several targets, including the annual dinner of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and Muslim places of worship, according to reports. 
Among the suspects are an assistant volunteer constable and a 15-year-old, according to reports in the French press. The arrests are believed to have taken place between September 2018 and the end of May 2019.
'The worst since WWII': Macron announces new steps to fight anti-Jewish hatredMacron addressing Jewish community leaders at the annual dinner of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF). Photo: AFP
The five suspects had named their group 'L'Oiseau Noir' ('Black Bird) and they communicated via a forum where they discussed the possibilities of an attack, it was reported. 
The investigation was opened after the September 2018 arrest of a volunteer constable whose contract was expiring in Grenoble, with investigators finding Kalashnikovs, explosives, a Glock pistol and a rifle at their home. 
The investigation led them to the four other suspects, two of them minors.
Anti-terrorism investigators took over the investigation in January and charged the suspects with terror offences, including making and transporting explosive devices and being part of a terrorist conspiracy.
In June 2018, 13 people with links to the radical far-right were arrested by anti-terrorist police in France over an alleged plot to attack Muslims, judical sources said at the time.
The arrests were made late Saturday in operations across France, including the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
The suspects had an “ill-defined plan to commit a violent act targeting people of the Muslim faith,” one source close to the probe had said.
Another source said the gang was looking to hit “targets linked to radical Islam”.
While France has repeatedly been targeted by jihadists since 2015, a handful of alleged plots involving far-right extremists have made headlines in recent months.
In November, six people were arrested over an alleged plot to attack President Emmanuel Macron.
In July 2017, a 23-year-old was charged with plotting to assassinate the president at France's Bastille Day military parade.
The man told investigators he wanted to kill Macron along with “Muslims, Jews, blacks and homosexuals,” and three kitchen knives were found in his car.

Member comments

  1. Being a AA I see some of the same right wing racist are active here.They are usually people with psychological defects.Not feeling excepted low self esteem,etc .America still has some of these miscreants in the current political climate but I’m confident when the new POTUS comes to power it will lessen.God Bless America !

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French think-tank chief convicted of spiked-drink rape bid

A Paris court on Thursday convicted the former chief of an influential Paris think-tank of attempted rape after he admitted to spiking a colleague's glass of champagne with ecstasy.

French think-tank chief convicted of spiked-drink rape bid

Laurent Bigorgne, a political analyst and close associate of President Emmanuel Macron, was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence and fined €2,000.

Prosecutors had declined to charge Bigorgne with attempted sexual assault of Sophie Conrad, his colleague at the Institut Montaigne think-tank and also the sister of his former wife.

But the court upheld the assault charge after determining that Bigorgne had drugged her drink during a dinner at his home “in order to commit rape or sexual assault.”

Bigorgne was not present in court, but his lawyer Sebastien Schapira said he would appeal a “senseless, incoherent decision.”

During the trial that began last month, Bigorgne admitted to taking cocaine the night of February 22, when he drugged Conrad in what he called “an outrageous, odious and cowardly act,” but denied any intentions of assault.

Conrad, who managed to get to a hospital after feeling the drug’s effects, told the court she had “no doubt about the fact that his intention was sexual and to rape me.”

“This acknowledges what happened and the facts, a complete acknowledgement,” she said after the ruling.

The accusations against Bigorgne stunned the elite political and think-tank circles of Paris, where he was known as a formidable networker close to the centre of power.

He provided input to Macron’s successful 2017 presidential election, while his former wife had lent Macron an apartment the year before to help launch his upstart political party. 

Bigorgne quit the centre-right Institut Montaigne, which he had led for 11 years, less than a week after the charges emerged.

He later told Le Monde newspaper that after his resignation he had spent time in a psychiatric hospital and underwent treatment for cocaine use.