France Jails Group Chief after Raids Uncover Jewish Targets

File photo of Mohammed Achamlane, leader of Forsane Alizza Islamic radical group, during a demonstration in Nantes
REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The leader of a banned French group was sentenced to nine years in jail on Friday on terrorism charges after police raids found weapons and a list of Jewish targets in his personal files.

The Paris court handed down the sentence to Mohamed Achamlane, one of 14 people tried on charges of “criminal conspiracy related to a terrorist enterprise”.

The trial followed raids on the homes of members of a group called Forsane Alizza (Horsemen of Pride in Arabic), which was banned in 2012. Police found weapons in the raids as well as a file belonging to Achamlane that included a list of targets including the Hyper Cacher chain of Jewish stores.

The ruling comes six months after Islamist militants killed 17 people in attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish shop, prompting France to boost troops guarding sensitive spots such as synagogues and train stations, but was not linked to those attacks.

The group was created in 2010 with the official goal of stopping the spread of Islamophobia but it was banned by the government in March 2012 after jihadist propaganda appeared on its website.

Read more at Reuters