Two Frenchmen Accused of Terrorism Caught in Italy

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Two French self-declared Islamic fundamentalists, Bassam Ayachi, 63, and Raphaël Gendron, 34, who now live in Brussels where they run the Belgian Islamic Center (Centre islamique belge) were arrested in Italy on terrorism charges. More specifically, the men were accused of illegal immigration and of threatening state security in their planned attacks in France, notably on the Charles de Gaulle airport. Now they face much more serious allegations following a counter-terrorism investigation by Italian, French and Belgian police. Italian authorities have officially charged them with being leaders of a logistical support team for al Qaeda. The men have been held in Bari, Italy since November 2008 when they were arrested on suspicion of smuggling two Syrians and three Palestinians into Italy aboard a camping trailer.

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