Three mosques have been closed in France in the past week within the framework of the state of emergency decreed following the November attacks, including one in the eastern suburbs of Paris which was the target of a vast police operation, announced the Home Secretary. “This type of measure, closing down mosques which are suspected of radical preaching (…), has never been taken before by any government whatsoever,” highlighted Bernard Cazeneuve at a press conference at the cabinet.
The two other mosques were closed in Lyon and Gennevilliers (north-west suburb of Paris) last week, he added. In Lagny-sur-Marne (east of the capital) raids led to “22 people being banned from leaving the country”, “nine extremists being put under house arrest”, as well as a 9mm revolver being seized “at the home of a suspect immediately taken into custody.”
“We are acting against hate preachers and self-proclaimed imams,” said the minister, whilst giving an update on the state of emergency declared in France since the November 13th attacks which killed 130 people. He says the gun was found at the home of “leaders” of the Lagny mosque, as well as documents on Jihad and “a concealed harddrive”. An unregistered Koranic school was also discovered. “This raid will result in the permanent closure of the three fake religious organisations by the government as soon as possible,” explained Mr. Cazeneuve.
At the same time, an update on the state of emergency reveals that 2,235 raids were carried out, which led to 263 arrests, 232 people being taken into custody, and 346 instances where legal proceedings were initiated; 334 weapons were also seized, including 145 long-barreled guns and 34 military-grade arms.