French Terrorism Suspects Appeared Anything But

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Source: The New York Times

By

STRASBOURG, France — One was a well-liked elementary school assistant. Another was a hard-working cargo handler. The third was a friendly grocer. They were longtime friends in their quiet suburban neighborhood, and they joked with teenagers and greeted children with a smile.

Yet in the early hours of Nov. 20 agents from France’s internal security agency swooped down, plucking the three and one other from their apartments, charging them with plotting a terrorist attack, and locking them up in a prison outside Paris.

Here was a new type of terrorism arrest: decently paid men in their 30s giving no warning signs of radicalization — no beards, no robes, no proselytizing.

And unlike many troubled youths in Paris and Brussels who have latched onto the Islamic State, they did not live on the margins. They had stable jobs and no previous brushes with drugs or crime.

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