French Police Detain Seven Suspected of Plotting Terrorist Attacks

By Mike Wendling | July 7, 2008 | 8:10 PM EDT

London ( - French police arrested seven people Friday suspected of planning terrorist attacks on U.S. targets, including the American embassy in Paris.

Police said the arrests in the early hours of Friday were made after an Algerian man arrested in the United Arab Emirates confessed to planning an attack on the U.S. embassy and gave the names of some of his associates in France. The group of seven included an undisclosed number of women.

Police did not release the names of those detained but said they are suspected of being members of militant Islamic groups. Several of the suspects had been under police surveillance since July, according to reports.

Reuters quoted sources saying that there was a link between the Algerian arrested in the United Arab Emirates and two militants arrested in Brussels last week, also on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks on U.S. targets.

A French investigative magistrate has flown to the UAE to interview the Algerian source and possibly request his extradition to France, the news agency reported

Investigations in several European countries continued Friday, highlighting the global nature of terrorist networks.

Polish authorities were looking into evidence that terrorists passed through the country, but did not speculate on any possible connections to last week's attacks. Police in Germany, meanwhile, issued arrest warrants for two men suspected of having links with those who carried out the atrocities in New York and Washington.
Financial inquiries

Authorities in London were looking into suspicious trades on Liffe, the main U.K. futures market.

Remarkably high volumes of short sell orders were placed on British Airways stock several days before the attacks. On Sept. 7, more than 2,000 short sell orders were placed on BA stock - about four or five times the normal daily volume.

A short sell is, in effect, a bet that a stock will go down in price. Authorities in the U.S., Europe and Japan are looking into claims that terrorist groups placed short sell orders on stocks that they knew would be adversely affected by a terrorist attack.