Tamil Muslim Arrested in France for Islamic Terror Connection
Posted by jagoindia on May 28, 2011
New Delhi, May 23: Home minister P Chidambaram said that, Indian national arrested in France on May 10, 2011 is identified as banned SIMI acitivist.
Earlier : India was in touch with French authorities over the arrest of an Indian national, Mohammed Niaz, for suspected al-Qaida links but has so far not sought any consular access. Niaz was among the seven held by French authorities earlier this month for terror links even though the French government refrained from linking them with any specific plant to carry out attacks.
As widely reported earlier, Niaz, an engineer, was arrested from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on May 10 on arrival from Algeria, a day after the other six were held from different areas in Paris. “We made enquiries and French authorities told us that they have an Indian national in their custody. We are in touch with them over the issue,” said Namrata Kumar, counselor with the Indian embassy in France.
After his arrest, French interior minister Claude Gueant had described Niaz as a man with high level of technical training. He was working as a software professional in France and was the main target of the raids which resulted in the arrest of the seven men. Niaz belongs to Madurai. While his mother is said to live in south India, his father shifted to West Asia many years ago.
French authorities are tight-lipped about the charges being pressed against Niaz but it is learnt that his extensive network among the highly radicalized local Muslim community and his frequent trips to Pakistan from Algeria made France’s domestic intelligence agency, DCRI, sit up and take notice. Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, one of the top al-Qaida franchises, is a very potent force in Algeria and has time and again vowed to carry out attacks against France and other western nations. Since the enhanced threat perception in France, the DCRI has been tracking jihadist networks looking to recruit potential bombers in France and send them to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Niaz is also accused of sending two Frenchmen to Pakistan who were arrested in Lahore in January this year.
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