French Jews in danger, says Simon Wiesenthal Centre

The French government must call a state of emergency because terrorist groups are targeting its citizens and especially its Jewish community, a member of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Europe has said.

This statement came after Mokhtar Belmokhtar - whose group the ‘Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat’ has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings in Algeria in which 38 died - last week threatened further attacks in France and singled out Jews as targets.

Belmokhtar told French weekly Paris Match that his leader was "threatening to commit new attacks against France, in which the Crusaders [Christians] and the Zionist Jews will pay for its aggressions in the north of Mali".

Referring to two terrorists who targeted French Jews, he said: “I hope that France realises that there will be dozens of Mohamed Merahs and Khaled Keikals.”

The director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Europe, Dr Shimon Samuels, said this statement shows that sleeper cells in France are not just ‘lone wolves’ but linked with terrorist groups in the Middle East.

He urged the French state to "declare a state of emergency, equipping law enforcement to take necessary measures to outlaw a clear and present danger to all French citizens - Christian, Jewish and Muslim".

    Last updated: 2:57pm, January 23 2013