PARIS (Reuters) - French anti-terrorist investigators believe a group of suspected Islamist militants arrested on Saturday were recruiting Jihadi fighters to go to Syria and planning attacks in France, a Paris prosecutor said.
Members of the group had assembled enough material to make a bomb the same size as explosives used in a deadly wave of attacks in Paris in the mid-1990s, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins added.
The weekend police swoop, in which another suspect was shot dead as he fired at police, dismantled “a terrorist group that is probably the most dangerous (seen in France) since 1996,” Molins told a news conference on Thursday.
Seven suspects were placed under official investigation on Thursday on suspicion of taking part in terrorist activities.
Two of the seven were also suspected of playing a role in seeking volunteers to join Jihadi missions abroad, including in Syria, said Molins.
Another five people who were arrested on Saturday have been released.
The weekend arrests were tied to an attack on a kosher food market outside Paris in September.
France has not seen an attack with mass casualties on its soil since 1995, when an Algerian Islamist group bombed the underground Metro network and other sites in the capital, killing 10 people and injuring about 200.
Reporting By Brian Love; Editing by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Andrew Heavens