(JTA) — Suspected Islamic militants arrested throughout France were planning terrorist attacks that included kidnapping a Jewish judge.
The 13 members of the extremist group Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Pride, were among 19 suspected Islamic militants arrested last week in France. They are under investigation for alleged terrorist activities, Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters Tuesday. Preliminary charges are being filed against the 13, and nine will remain in police custody, he said.
The men reportedly planned to kidnap a Jewish judge in Lyon, in southeast France.
Molins said that there is no tie between the group and Mohamed Merah, the gunman who killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulose on March 21, as well as three French military personnel the previous week. Merah had claimed links to al-Qaida, as does Forsane Alizza.
The terrorists’ arrests were part of a French crackdown in the wake of Merah’s attack in Toulouse. France on Monday also expelled five radical Islamic ministers.