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    POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN CHECHNYA AND TERRORIST THREATS IN FRANCE

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    PARIS, March 17, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - A letter addressed to the French authorities containing threats of terrorism was sent on Tuesday to the editorial boards of Le Parisien and Le Monde by the Servants of Allah, the Powerful and Wise One, a previously unknown terrorist group. The letter was signed, "Mosvar Barayev, commando."

    Investigators have not commented on the Servants of Allah's possible links with the international terrorist groups operating in Chechnya. At the same time, they point to the evident coincidence that "Mosvar Barayev" is similar to Movsar Barayev, a Chechen field commander. In October 2002, Movsar Barayev took the audience and the actors of the Nord Ost musical hostage and was killed during the operation to free the hostages.

    The Servants of Allah were enraged when a law prohibiting religious clothes and symbols, including hijabs (the shawls Muslim women wear to cover their heads) was adopted in France.

    The group views the law as "declaring war" on the Muslim world. It demands that the law be immediately recalled and said that the law is nothing more than the law against Muslims.

    If the law is not recalled, the Servants of Allah threatened to "plunge France into the abyss of terror for a long time."

    After the terrorist attack in Madrid on March 11, French authorities ordered to raise the level of permanently operating "Vigipirate" anti-terrorism plan from yellow to orange. Following the letter, the warning was raised to red, which is just below scarlet, the maximum level, at the airports, train stations and other transportation facilities.

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