The inside story of the 'ultra Left' activists arrested in France over alleged terrorism


For the first time in a dozen years France's antiterrorist authorities are investigating an alleged terrorist plot by an 'ultra Left' group. In December nine people were arrested at various locations around France. Seven of them were subsequently placed under formal investigation on suspicion of plotting “violent action” against the forces of law and order. Five of them have been held in custody since then. Mediapart's Camille Polloni has spoken to the families and friends of some of those arrested about what they have gone through. Inevitably this new case brings with it reminders of the long-running 'Tarnac affair' in which after a decade of investigations and legal proceedings a group of left-wing activists accused of terrorist acts against French railway lines eventually saw all those charges dismissed.

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In their quiet home in the countryside, C.'s grandparents have made pancakes. Her mother and brother are in the living room and two of her old housemates have joined them next to the fire. For more than three months the life of this extended family and friends has been been dominated by visiting rooms, letters and visits to the woman's prison at Fleury-Mérogis south of Paris where C. currently resides.  Having been placed under formal investigation for criminal conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and remanded in custody, C., who is 30, faces a ten-year jail term if she is tried and found guilty.