France deports Moroccan accused of calling for 'acts of murder'

May 21, 2013 at 12:02 AM
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PARIS, May 21 (UPI) -- France is continuing a crackdown on suspected Islamic radicals with the expulsion of a 24-year-old Moroccan man who allegedly called for "acts of murder."

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Friday the man, living in La Rochelle, France, had been deported for "repeated acts and calls for murder" posted in French on a "jihadist website."

Valls said the man posted regularly posted comments "supporting and glorifying terrorist violence, abroad or in France," under a pseudonym.

"He called to commit attacks in France and other European countries and called for the murder of named individuals including a French journalist," Valls said in a statement. "In view of these elements, this individual was a threat to state security and public safety, warranting expulsion, approved by the Committee of Expulsion."

With the expulsion, Valls said he was reiterating France's commitment to fight terrorism, particularly against Internet users who "advocate armed jihad."

Valls in January launched an expulsion campaign aimed at "foreign fundamentalist preachers" with ties to Islamic fundamentalist groups, saying the measures were being taken "to prevent the radicalization of Islamic movements" and to "fight global jihad," the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The man deported Friday wasn't an imam but fit into the same pattern.

Authorities said the man arrived in France in 2009, where he married a French woman with whom he had two children. An investigation by the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence domestic security agency, known by its French acronym DCRI, had identified him the source of the Internet posts.

DCRI's investigation led to legal proceedings in March, resulting in a deportation order issued April 29, the Moroccan news website reported, citing to a source familiar with the matter.

The website in question was reportedly "Choumoukh Islamist al-Islam," where the man posted under the pseudonym of "Abu Hamza."

Until his death in 2010, Abu Hamza was considered the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. Another famous radical Islamist took the pseudonym Abu Hamza -- a British preacher who was extradited to the United States where he is to be tried next year for terrorist activities.

France has deported two other Moroccan nationals this year. In January, the Ministry of the Interior expelled a Moroccan allegedly linked to the French fundamentalist group Al Izza Forsane, while in October 2012, an Moroccan imam was also deported -- the first on a list of preachers the French government suspects of fomenting radical Islam.

Other EU countries have taken such actions against Moroccan nationals.

In April 2010, Italy returned two Moroccans for alleged links with terrorist groups. Seven months later, Rome also expelled another Moroccan, who in 2007 had been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for terrorist offenses, the Moroccan news portal reported. cited sources indicating the Moroccan man deported Friday encouraged readers to trap cars or burn airports and train stations, referencing the banning of headscarves in France and the presence of French troops in Muslim countries.

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