Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Merci, France

France Says It Smashes Iraq Recruitment Ring
Paris (Reuters)

Since I've been so vocal about the French of late, I thought I'd post some good news from our dubious ally. While they won't pitch in with whit for Iraq, they will at least thwart the recruitment efforts going on under their noses.

Merci beaucoup, mon amis. Even if this is all you'll do, we do so appreciate it.

PARIS (Reuters) - France has smashed an underground Islamic network recruiting French nationals to fight U.S. forces in Iraq, a source close to the dossier said Tuesday.
The five men and two women were arrested by the DST domestic intelligence agency Monday in Paris, where youths close to radical Islamic groups are known to be based, said the source, who is close to Interior Minister Dominique Villepin.

The seven remain in custody in the DST's headquarters pending a further investigation.

"This operation has allowed us to completely smash this network," the source said. "This is the first operation of its kind, and an important one. The fight against radical Islamic groups is one of the Interior Minister's priority."

A formal judicial investigation into recruitment networks was opened following the death in Iraq of a number of French nationals in the oil-rich Middle East state.

The number of foreign volunteers in Iraq is difficult to estimate with certainty. The Le Monde daily last month quoted intelligence services as saying there were about 1,000-2,000, mostly from Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kuwait.

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