Radical French Mosque Manager Arrested for Fraud and Embezzlement

The manager of a suspected radical mosque, along with three others, was arrested this week in northern France on charges of fraud and embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of euros in foreign cash.

The manager of the Al Houda mosque in Grande-Synthe, Ouarab A., 49, two of his two sisters and the mosque’s treasurer were detained by local police on Wednesday in a departmental anti-fraud operation. committee.

Ouarab allegedly tried to grab an officer’s gun during his arrest,

According to investigators, at least 350,000 euros (£297,738/$363,181) in foreign cash is believed to have been embezzled by the mosque, which is said to follow the ultra-conservative Islamic ideology of Salafism, French broadcaster CNews reports.

The four arrested are also believed to have committed social benefits fraud in the amount of around €70,000 (£59,569/$72,649), according to investigators, who allege that the fraudulent transfers were made through associations run by the administrator’s sisters. of the mosque, which are older. 46 and 47.

The Al Houda Mosque, which also houses an unauthorized Koranic school, is said to have been purchased with the embezzled funds.

The case is just the latest in which radical Muslims have been accused of fraud and financial crimes in recent years.

During the Wuhan virus pandemic, for example, there were several reports of Islamists using coronavirus schemes to defraud Western governments, such as in May 2020 when German police in Berin raided the homes of several Islamic extremists over fraud allegations. .

These included a man who had been investigated for planning a terrorist attack on the Berlin marathon.

Investigators said the Islamists had claimed cash for emergency financial aid for businesses affected by the coronavirus and associated lockdown restrictions imposed on German residents. Some claimed aid for businesses that were not operating at all.

Just a month later, the Berlin police raided more Islamists suspected of involvement in benefits fraud. Some suspects were linked to the Ibrahim al-Khalil mosque, one of the main Salafist gathering points in the German capital.

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