Police probe arson fire in France at Jewish community center
PARIS (AP) -- French police were investigating a previously unknown Islamic militant group's claim of responsibility for an arson attack on a Jewish community center, a spokesman said today.
The official at Paris police headquarters said it was still unclear whether the posting on a Web site known for militant Islamic comment by a group calling itself Jamaat Ansar Al-Jihad was a serious claim.
Authorities immediately suspected the fire at the center in eastern Paris was deliberately set. The blaze broke out before dawn Sunday, and no one was hurt. The center is used as a meeting place and soup kitchen.
When the smoke cleared, investigators found anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas scrawled in red marker.
One message read, "Without the Jews, the world is happy," while another said, "Jews get out."
France has suffered a long wave of anti-Semitic violence since 2000, coinciding with worsening tensions in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians.