France dissolves Muslim groups linked to radical Paris mosque
France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve replies to deputies during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris - REUTERS
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PARIS:  The French government on Wednesday banned three religious groups linked to a mosque in the east of Paris that was closed in December for being at the heart of a jihadist recruitment network, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve said the groups tied to the Lagny-sur-Marne mosque, where guns, munitions and jihadist documents were found, had been dissolved because “their leaders over the last few years had incited hatred and called for jihad”.

France, which is in a state of emergency, has clamped down on individuals and places of worship – including “organisations cultuelles” – with links to radical Islam since attacks by Islamic State militants in Paris in November that killed 130 people.

“There is no place in the Republic for structures that provoke, call for terrorism and incite hatred,” Cazeneuve said.

The mosque’s former president, known for radical sermons, fled to Egypt in 2014 with about 10 worshippers. Authorities accuse him of playing a role in the indoctrination and recruitment of volunteers for Syria.

Muslim officials have yet to comment on the ban.

Cazeneuve also said that since the start of 2015 he had proposed that about 30 people be expelled from France for inciting hatred.

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