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France Seeks Deportation of 39 Russian Nationals Over ‘Radical’ Islamist Views – Interior Minister

Paris police arrest a protester during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestine. Abdullah Firas / ABACA / TASS

France is seeking the deportation of 39 Russian nationals suspected of holding "radical" Islamist views, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Monday.

Russian citizens are under “the strictest control” following a deadly Oct. 13 school stabbing in northern France that authorities have described as an Islamist terrorist attack, Darmanin told France’s RMC radio.

Shortly after the stabbing, court documents viewed by the Associated Press showed that the attacker was from the republic of Ingushetia in Russia’s North Caucasus.

“We’ve compiled a list of 39 Russian citizens whom we’re monitoring particularly closely due to suspicions of radicalization,” Darmanin said.

He stressed that it would not be possible to deport Russian nationals from France without the Kremlin’s consent.

“Last week we presented [the list] to the Russian authorities and will begin the relevant negotiations and procedures,” Darmanin added.

The announcement comes as French authorities named Russian-born Mohammed Moguchkov as the suspected perpetrator of the October stabbing that killed French literature teacher Dominique Bernard at a school in the city of Arras.

Moguchkov’s father was listed on a French national register as a potential security threat and deported in 2018. Moguchkov was also on the list and under electronic and physical surveillance by France’s domestic intelligence agency.

Paris has since said that around 60 Russian citizens are on France’s national security watch list.

Darmanin linked the Arras attack to the war between Israel and Hamas militants, whose Oct. 7 massacre inside Israel triggered an unrelenting bombardment campaign of the Gaza Strip. 

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