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According to the victims, their attackers said to them: “You are Jews so you have money. »

Four men and a woman were arrested on Tuesday morning, suspected of having participated in the burglary and kidnapping of a Jewish family in Seine-Saint-Denis in September, "an anti-Semitic attack" condemned by Jewish institutions and the Minister of the Interior, AFP learned from concordant sources.

Among the five people taken into custody are three young people, suspected of being the perpetrators of the attack which took place in Livry-gargan, a 50-year-old man "well-known to the police" who could be their "chief" and a 19-year-old girl, an alleged "accomplice", police and judicial sources told AFP.

In the early morning of September 8, burglars broke into the pavilion of 78-year-old association activist Roger Pinto, where his wife and son were also. They had first kidnapped the son of the family then, in the early morning, had attacked the mother and the father, who had received several kicks in the chest and in the head. The family had been tied up and confined for several hours, until the woman managed to alert the police.

According to the victims, their attackers said to them: “You are Jews so you have money. »

The attack had caused a stir in the Jewish community, where Roger Pinto, president of the association "for the defense of the Jewish people and the State of Israel" Siona, has held numerous positions within institutions.

Very quickly, the Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb had denounced an “odious attack”. "According to the first elements, the motivation for this cowardly act seems directly linked to the religion of the victims," ​​he said.

The Bobigny prosecutor's office had entrusted the territorial security of the department with an investigation for kidnapping, theft and extortion in a meeting with violence and because of the religion of the victims.

Gérard Collomb, center, French Minister of the Interior, near the scene of a terrorist attack in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, June 6, 2017. (Credit: Bertrand Guay/AFP)

“Exemplary penalties”

Investigators are trying to establish whether the pavilion was "targeted" because of the religious affiliation of its occupants, according to a police source.

The victims "think, in view of the comments made by the attackers, that they were attacked because they were Jews", had told AFP Marc Bensimhon, their lawyer, at the time of the events.

In a press release, the prefect of police of Paris Michel Delpuech, considered Tuesday that the conditions of the aggression “left little doubt as to the anti-Semitic character of this villainous action”.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb welcomed in a press release the arrest of these "five people likely to be involved in the cowardly and violent attack on a family of the Jewish faith", stressing that "the fight against all forms of racism and anti-Semitism is a priority for the police and gendarmerie".

On Tuesday, the lawyer said his "tremendous satisfaction" at the announcement of these arrests. According to him, "the police have done a lot and the intervention of the Minister of the Interior has a lot to do with it".

After this attack, the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) condemned "a new manifestly anti-Semitic" and "premeditated" attack.

The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (Crif) for its part called for "reinforced vigilance and exemplary and dissuasive sanctions". Especially since the case came a few months after the death of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman defenestrated in April in Paris.

For the Licra, this case recalled "obviously that of Créteil", which had seen a kidnapped couple and the woman raped in 2014 during an attack for which five men will have to be tried at the assizes with the aggravating circumstance of anti-Semitism.

"Eleven years after the anti-Semitic murder of Ilan Halimi, the fantasy of the rich Jew continues to make its victims", for its part deplored SOS Racisme, in reference to the young Jew who died in 2006 after being kidnapped and tortured by the "gang barbarians”.

Source: ©  Jewish family kidnapped in September in Seine-Saint-Denis: 5 suspects arrested

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