December 20, 2007 / 9:41 AM / 12 years ago

French police arrest suspected al Qaeda support group

Police Special Intervention Force members secure the area of Strasbourg's courthouse in France, April 11, 2007. French police said on Thursday they had arrested eight men they suspect of providing logistical support to al Qaeda's North African wing in Algeria, confirming a report in French newspaper Le Figaro. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

PARIS (Reuters) - French police said on Thursday they had arrested eight men they suspect of providing logistical support to al Qaeda’s North African wing in Algeria, confirming a report in French newspaper Le Figaro.

The suspects, seven Algerians and one Frenchman aged between 30 and 35, were arrested on Tuesday morning in and around Paris, as well as in the region of the northern city of Rouen, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed source.

It said the men were part of “an important support network linked to Algerian terrorism” and were suspected of having links with the al Qaeda branch which claimed responsibility for twin car bombs in Algiers last week that killed more than 30 people.

A police official contacted by Reuters confirmed the report but added that three of the suspects had since been released.

“There is no link with the Algiers attacks,” the official added.

The men were being held at the headquarters of France’s domestic intelligence service, which led the probe.

Le Figaro said investigators found equipment at the suspects’ homes that included computers and telecommunication equipment which could probably be sent quickly into the field.

Reporting by Francois Murphy

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