Police shut a mosque east of Paris and arrested the owner of a revolver found in related raids on Wednesday as part of a crackdown called after the November 13 attacks on the capital, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
He told journalists that authorities had closed another two mosques last week – the first time France has taken such action against places of worship suspected of nurturing what he called “extremist radicalisation”.
Security officers found extremist documents in the raids at the mosque and related premises in Lagny-sur-Marne on Wednesday, placed a total of nine people under house arrest and banned another 22 from leaving the country, Cazeneuve said.
France, which declared a state of emergency after the extremist attacks on Paris, has so far raided 2,235 homes and buildings, taken 232 people into custody and confiscated 334 weapons, 34 of them war-grade, Cazeneuve told reporters.
“In 15 days we have seized one-third of the quantity of war-grade weapons that are normally seized in a year,” Cazeneuve said.
The other two mosques closed last week were in Gennevilliers, northwest of Paris, and in the southeastern city of Lyon, he added.