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French SNCF train station. Photo: Barthelemy de Mazenod

‘Not radicalized’ when caught with two loaded guns, balaclava and verses from the Quran

A 21-year-old man was arrested in the early afternoon, Friday, December 11, at Toulouse-Matabiau station. Railway security officers discovered that he had two loaded pistols and a balaclava with him as well as suras from the Quran and a prayer rug.

Published: December 16, 2020, 7:00 am

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    Toulouse

    But regional French daily La Dépêche reported that the immigrant, originally from Mayotte, “showed no sign of objective radicalism”.

    He was recently stopped and questioned by the police in a district of Toulouse during a monitoring operation on a narcotics gang.

    The station security officers had been alerted by his strange behavior, and they asked him for his papers as he was about to board a train heading for Lyon. This young man, whose last known domicile is in Troyes, in Aube, carried two loaded pistols and several objects related to Islam.

    Once arrested, he was brought back to the Toulouse central police station and very quickly entrusted to investigators from the regional service of the Toulouse judicial police (SRPJ), in charge of investigations by the prosecution.

    What did he want to do with these weapons? Difficult to say since during his police custody, this gentleman was obviously not very forthcoming. Even so, he has not been linked to any terrorist endeavour “for the moment” a source close to the file said.

    This individual from Mayotte “does not present any sign of objectified radicalism”, according to Dominique Alzéari, the public prosecutor. He is homeless and has has crisscrossed France for several months now. He was recently controlled by the police force in the district of Izards, north of Toulouse, where he was allegedly “employed” as a supervisor of a narcotics gang.

    The prosecution nevertheless decided to open a judicial investigation.

    The suspect has been charged for firearms violations and is being detained. The SRPJ’s investigation is continuing. While waiting to learn more about his profile, the police said they would try to analyze the weapons to find out if they were used for a felony or an offense.

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