The police raided on Tuesday the headquarters of an association of shiite during a counter-terrorism operation in Grande-Synthe in the North, the day on which Paris has frozen the assets of two iranian nationals, one of whom is suspected of being involved in a project of attack in Villepinte in June.
Three people have been remanded in custody at the end of the operation, including for the unlawful possession of a firearm, according to a source close to the folder.
A 6: 00 AM, the headquarters of the association of shi “Centre Zahra France” and the homes of its leaders in Grande-Synthe (Nord) have been the subject of searches of the administrative, involving 200 police officers, including officers of the Raid and the BRI, according to the prefecture of the north.
The operation was launched following the “strong support” to “many” terrorist organizations” of the officers of the association, whose assets have been frozen, according to a decree published Tuesday in the official Journal.
The ministries of Interior and of Economy and Finance have also taken a similar measure, in a decree separate, against the internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of Intelligence in iran, and two iranian nationals, one of whom is suspected of being involved in the project of attack in Villepinte in June against a gathering of a group of iranian opposition in France, the Mujahideen of the people (MEK).
“An attempted attack has been foiled in Villepinte on June 30. This act of extreme gravity to be carried out on our territory could not remain without a response”, jointly declare in a press release Beauvau, the quai d’orsay and Bercy.
On July 2, the federal prosecutor’s office, belgian had claimed to have thwarted a project of a bomb attack that would have hit, the day before yesterday in Villepinte in the paris region, the largest annual gathering of the Mujahideen of the people of iran (MEK). In this case, intensive diplomatic, the investigation is carried out by Belgium in cooperation with the judicial authorities in French and German.
– Support to Hezbollah –
A Grande-Synthe, le centre Zahra is home to several associations including the Party’s anti-zionist, the Federation of shiite France or France Marianne Tv, on suspicion of the legitimacy of the jihad and the defense of movements like Hamas, the palestinian or the lebanese Hezbollah, supported by Iran, and organizations, including military branches are classified as “terrorist” by the United States and the european Union, according to a source close to the folder.
A dozen vans of CRS were deployed on Tuesday morning around the large building of red brick, the headquarters of the association, in an impasse of a residential area and close to the highway.
Purchased in 2000, the body of farm of 5,000 m2 has been open since 2005. One enters by walking over a mat covered with the flag of Israel. Places home including a conference room and a prayer room, found an AFP journalist.
It is attended by “about 150 people”, according to the religious leader of the centre, Jamel Tahiri, 43 years old. According to him, the people who had the weapons were “for the safety of the centre”: “it has nothing to do with terrorism”.
Mr. Tahiri is, with Yahia Gouasmi and Abdelkrim Khalid, whose homes were also searched, to the origin of this association rise in 2009 and that is said to be openly “anti-zionist”.
Very active on social networks, the “Centre Zahra France” indicates on its internet web site wanting to “make known the message of Islam through the eyes of the Prophet and his family”, in particular through the publication of works, lectures, trips and films etc
Jamel Tahiri has said that he was in the center “religion and education”, adding that the association “[supported] the Hezbollah. One is shia, one is against Daesh”.
Many police officers criss-crossed the centre of Grande-Synthe, a city of 23,000 inhabitants in the vicinity of Dunkirk.
According to the mayor, this centre is not involved “neither near nor far” for the aid to migrants and regular meetings between associations and elected officials.
“It is a very close community, we don’t really know what’s happening on the inside, there are often guards at the front entrance”, testified to the AFP, a waterfront, under the cover of anonymity, affirming that the association has “shops in the city centre”.