Eurabia Alert: Here’s the case of a man “of Turkish and Dutch origin,” extradited from the Netherlands to face charges in France for funding a group seeking to establish “an Islamic regime across Central Asia.”
“Suspected head of Uzbek extremist funding group charged,” from Agence France-Presse, July 19:
PARIS – The suspected head of a group providing funding to Islamic extremists in Uzbekistan was charged in France after being extradited from the Netherlands, a source familiar with the case said on Saturday.
Irfan Demirtas, of Turkish and Dutch origin, was accused late Friday of funding terrorism by French judges Thierry Fragnoli and Philippe Coirre and placed in custody, the source said.
Demirtas was one of 10 people arrested in May in a crackdown led by France on people suspected of helping fund the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which was formed in 1998 and claims to be linked to Al-Qaeda.
Eight arrests took place in a suburb of the eastern French city of Mulhouse and in the central Rhone region, one in the Netherlands and one in Germany. One suspect was later released in France.
Police found several firearms and a large amount of cash during searches of the suspects’ homes on Friday, a police source said at the time. Computer discs and files were seized.
The French domestic DST intelligence agency had been investigating the ring for close to a year and the arrests were ordered by anti-terrorism judge Fragnoli.
Originally formed to overthrow Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov and set up an Islamic regime across Central Asia, the IMU is said to be active on the volatile border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and is listed as a terrorist group by the United States.