PARIS – Counterterrorism police found a bomb-making manual at the home of a man detained in a sweep of suspected Islamic militants who allegedly plotted attacks in Paris (search), a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Four people were detained Monday in the Loiret (search) region south of Paris. Two of them are suspected of having links to convicted Islamic militant Safe Bourada, picked up in another wave of arrests last week, officials had said.
At the home of one of the two suspects — both French converts to Islam in their 20s — investigators found documents showing how to make explosive devices. The newspaper cited an unidentified source close to the case.
Police found hunting rifles at the home of the other suspect, who met Bourada while serving time in prison for armed robbery, the newspaper said. Investigators suspect that Bourada had recruited him to help finance his extremist group, it said.
An investigating magistrate was quoted in the paper as saying that it was not clear whether the suspects were planning to go ahead with an attack.
While he did not refer to the latest arrests, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy (search) said Tuesday that authorities had imprisoned 102 people since 2002 for links to terrorist activity in France.
Sarkozy said 19 Islamic prayer leaders have been expelled this year for preaching hate — a practice that France would not tolerate.
"When you see that the terrorists arrested are younger and younger, you see the responsibility of irresponsible people who make comments contrary to the values of the (French) Republic," he said during question time in the lower house of parliament.
The raids last week netted a suspected terror cell that authorities feared was plotting attacks on the Paris Metro, an airport in the capital and the headquarters of police intelligence and counterterrorism agency DST.