Retired police officer among 10 charged over plot against Muslims

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An ex-police officer is among 10 people charged over a plot to attack Muslims in France.

Nine men and one woman, aged 32 to 69, were arrested in raids across France on Saturday.

They were charged with “criminal terrorist conspiracy” when they appeared before a judge on Wednesday evening.

Several of them have also been charged with violations of firearms laws and the manufacture or possession of explosive devices.

The retired police officer, 65, known only as Guy S, is thought to be the group’s leader. His wife is also among the group, as is a former soldier.

The home of the suspected leader, who was arrested along with his wife retired police officer among 10 charged over plot against muslims Retired police officer among 10 charged over plot against Muslims skynews france tonnay charente 4347687
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The home of the suspected leader, who was arrested along with his wife

Police linked the 10 to a group called Action des Forces Operationnelles, which encourages French people to combat Muslims, calling them “the enemy within”.

Raids were carried out in Paris, Corsica and the Charentes-Maritimes region, with officers finding rifles, handguns and homemade grenades.

Prosecutors said 36 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition were seized, as well as items that can be used to manufacture TATP explosives.

They found leaflets detailing how to make explosives at one suspect’s house.

Four of the group were held in custody while awaiting trial, four were released, and two are still waiting for a judge to decide their fate.

The house of Guy S., the alleged leader of a group linked with the ultra right 'AFO' (Action of Operational Forces) retired police officer among 10 charged over plot against muslims Retired police officer among 10 charged over plot against Muslims skynews guy s ultra right france 4347685
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The house of Guy S, the alleged leader of a group linked with the ultra right ‘AFO’

A statement from police said: “The group was trying to recruit new members and extend its reach by structuring itself at regional level.”

Officers said they believed an attack was being planned, but did not know who the target would be.

France remains on high alert following a wave of terror attacks which have killed more than 240 people since 2015.

Despite officials urging French citizens not to confuse the actions of extremists with the six million Muslims who live in the country, anti-Islam sentiment is on the rise.

In 2017, there were 72 violent anti-Muslim acts, up from 67 the year before.



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