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French terror cell suspects held for 6 days of questioning

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By The Washington Post
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 6:36 p.m.

PARIS — French police have broken up “an extremely dangerous terrorist cell” whose members possessed bomb-making materials and a handwritten list of Jewish organizations in the Paris region, the Paris prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

The prosecutor, Francois Molins, said that as a result of the discoveries, 12 young men who were arrested on Saturday would be detained for questioning for two more days under anti-terrorism legislation allowing six days of interrogation without charges in cases of a serious risk of “imminent” terrorist violence.

The suspects, ranging in age from 18 to 25, included recent French converts to Islam as well as people born into Muslim families established in France, police said.

A man identified as a convert named Jeremie Louis-Sidney, 33, said to be the group's leader, was shot and killed on Saturday after he opened fire as police moved in to arrest him in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

Police found potassium nitrate, sulfur, saltpeter, pressure cookers and headlight bulbs at a storage facility in the Paris suburb of Torcy, elements that Molins said seemed intended to construct homemade bombs.

“We are clearly and objectively confronted with an extremely dangerous terrorist cell,” he said in the televised statement.

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