Radical Muslims on Trial for Building Bombs in Paris Suburbs

A police officer stands at the entrace of the courtroom in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on January 21, 2019 before the trial of Vincent Leroyer, a former hockey club coach, for sexual abuse and rape on a minor. (Photo by MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP) (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)

Two men, both radical Muslims who sympathize with the Islamic State terrorist group, are on trial this week in a Paris court after being arrested for building explosives in 2017.

The two men, 39-year-old Ali M.R. and 41-year-old Frédéric L., are accused of manufacturing the explosive TATP in an apartment in the Paris suburb of Villejuif and have been on trial since Tuesday in the Paris Assize Court.

According to a report from the newspaper Le Parisien, the two men were open about their support for radical Islamic ideas such as throwing homosexuals off buildings, a practice that was seen during the Islamic State terror group’s occupation of parts of Syria and Iraq.

Frédéric L. is said to have converted to Islam in 2008, while Ali M.R. was born into a non-practising Muslim family. Both were later radicalised. The two men were also believers in conspiracy theories, according to the newspaper.

Frédéric L explained that in 2014 ,when now-dead former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the formation of a physical Islamic caliphate, he at first thought al-Baghdadi was an agent of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad. 

“From 2015-2016, I was really sympathetic to the Islamic State,” Frédéric L. said. In 2015 he made attempts to contact a French member of the group, Rachid Kassim, to travel to Syria, but said in court that he never went further than contacting members of the group and had no concrete plans. 

“We said to ourselves that there might be something to do, that we weren’t going to stand idly by,” he said.

“For example, we thought of financing jihadist groups, but we did not do so because we did not have the means. There was this idea to leave but it did not happen. We said to ourselves: at worst, we can carry out a kind of attack. It was the last resort solution. But yes, it was considered.”

Ali M.R., in whose apartment the 300g of TATP explosive was found, said there was no attack plan but the idea of an attack existed. Investigators say that the men had enough ingredients to make up to three to four kilograms of the highly powerful explosive before their arrest. 

TATP explosives have been long favoured by the Islamic State and have been seen in other foiled terror attack cases, such as in 2017 in Montpellier, when 70 grams of the explosive was found in the home of a 20-year-old man. 

Several others were also arrested in connection to the finding of explosives, including a teen girl who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a video. 

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com



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