11 held in France after anti-terror police raid Muslim association

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From the French edition of The Local and Reuters

Around 200 French police officers launched a major counter-terrorism raid in northern France on Tuesday targeting a Muslim Association suspected of supporting terror groups.

The raid was carried out in the town of Grande-Synthe, near the port city of Dunkirk in the far north of France.

Around 200 police officers including members of specialist counter-terrorism units were involved in the operation that targeted the Shiite Muslim Association Centre Zahra France.

Police raided the homes of the association’s leaders and made 11 arrests in total following 12 separate operations.

The association has been on the radar of anti-terrorism investigators in France due to alleged support for jihadist groups.

Police have been closely following the activities of the Zahra Centre “because of the strong support by its leaders for several terrorist organisations and in favour of movements backing ideas that are contrary to the values” of France.

“This is a counter-terrorism operation,” the local prefect’s office said a statement.

It was unclear whether the arrests were linked to a suspected plot in France to bomb a gathering of Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in June.

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