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‘Breeding Grounds Of Terrorism’: 76 Mosques Investigated For Radicalization Of Members In France

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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The French Interior Minister has called for an investigation into 76 mosques and plans to close those who are teaching Islamic extremism, The Guardian reported Thursday.

The statement came from Gérald Darmanin, according to The Guardian. Investigations would specifically be looking for mosques that were “breeding grounds for terrorism.” Those found to be harboring such would be closed.

France continues to deal with Islamic terrorism in light of recent attacks. A Tunisian man has been charged with the killing of 3 people at the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. Samuel Paty, a teacher, was beheaded in the street by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov. Paty was supposedly targeted for showing students the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine. (RELATED: France To Ban Islamist Group Named After Hamas Co-Founder For Being ‘Directly Involved’ In Decapitation Of Teacher)

There are 76 mosques that have been targeted. Eighteen of the 76 are of specific interest to French officials, The Guardian reported. The greater Paris area is home to 8 of those 18 mosques being investigated.

“Until now, the state has focused on radicalisation and terrorism.  Now we’re also going to attack the breeding grounds of terrorism, where people create the intellectual and cultural space for secession and imposing their values” Darmanin said, according to The Guardian. France has the largest population of Muslims in western Europe with an estimated number of 6 million.