Paris French anti-terrorism police arrested nine people Monday suspected of planning attacks, including an Islamic militant previously convicted on terrorism charges and freed from prison two years ago.
Authorities said the arrest of Safe Bourada, who had been under surveillance since his release in 2003, highlights potential risks posed by unrepentant militants being freed after serving prison sentences in connection with bombings in the 1990s.
The nine were picked up in early morning raids west of Paris and in Evreux. Police in black hoods marched the suspects to waiting cars and carried out boxes of what appeared to be seized documents.
Investigators suspect Bourada, 35, was putting together a cell that intended to carry out attacks in France, the official said. The nine suspects initially will be kept for four days of questioning, which is expected to determine whether they had selected specific targets, the official said.
Bourada was among 36 Islamic militants sentenced in February 1998 for providing support for bomb attacks that terrorized France in 1995. Bourada received the maximum 10-year sentence but won early release in 2003, the police official said.