The five are accused of “providing logistical support to al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa.”
PARIS (AP) “” French authorities held five men suspected of links to the al-Qaida branch behind a deadly bombing at U.N. offices in Algeria last week, a police official said Thursday.
The men, who are suspected of providing logistical support to al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, were rounded up for questioning Tuesday in the Paris area and near the Normandy city of Rouen.
Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa claimed responsibility for twin truck bombings of the U.N. offices and an Algerian government building Dec. 11 that killed at least 37 people, including 17 U.N. staff members.
Three other men who were also detained Tuesday have been released, the official
said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The five men still in custody were being held at the headquarters of the DST counterintelligence service, the official said. The DST’s operation was based on a request from an anti-terrorism judge who suspected the men of providing computers and telecommunications material to the Algerian terror group.
Police seized computers as they searched the men’s homes, the official said. The suspects were North African and French. Le Figaro newspaper reported that the men, all in their 30s, had police records and had been under surveillance for months.
There was nothing to suggest the men had any direct involvement in the suicide bombings in Algiers, the police official said, adding that they were not suspected of planning attacks in France.