Abdelhakim Sefrioui, arrested by police on December 29, 2012, during an unauthorized demonstration for Palestine, in Paris.
Miguel MEDINA / AFP
By decision of Emmanuel Macron, the Cheikh Yassine collective was dissolved on Wednesday, five days after the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine attack.
This group of radical Islamist activists had been known to the authorities for several years for its media stunts, unauthorized demonstrations and taking positions against laws on religious symbols and the wearing of the veil.
Its founder, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, was referred and is suspected of being linked to the assassination of Samuel Paty, the history and geography teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
This is one of the first decisions of Emmanuel Macron after the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine attack.
Five days after the beheading of history and geography professor Samuel Paty, the executive announced on Wednesday the dissolution of the Cheikh Yassine collective during the Council of Ministers.
"Involved" in the terrorist attack, this group "had long advocated an anti-republican ideology which spreads hatred", explained Gabriel Attal.
“Other dissolutions will be announced in the coming weeks, legal work is underway,” the government spokesperson also said.
At the request of the President of the Republic, the Islamist collective Cheikh Yassine, directly involved in the savage assassination of Samuel Paty, was dissolved in the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.
- Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) October 21, 2020
What is this collective?
This group is named after Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, co-founder of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement.
The collective was created in 2004, after the death of this activist, killed by the Israeli army.
It defines itself as a "pro-Palestinian" and "anti-Zionist" organization.
It is difficult to know how many people are members, but in a book-survey published in 2011, its founder claims "a militant core of 70 people, mainly Ile-de-France" *.
On its Facebook page, the collective has a little less than 2,000 subscribers this Wednesday.
The page features a Palestinian flag fluttering alongside children's faces and photos of bombings.
Appeals for donations for the Gaza Strip and anti-Israel messages are relayed there.
Why is the collective in the government's sights?
"The collective has taken positions supporting jihadist groups, it is a set of personalities linked to terrorist attacks and its president supported the threats and intimidation against Samuel Paty", indicates the Ministry of the Interior to
20 Minutes .
The president of the collective, cited by Place Beauvau, is none other than Abdelhakim Sefrioui.
This 61-year-old radical Islamist activist was referred on Wednesday and is the subject of an investigation for "complicity in a terrorist assassination" in connection with the assassination of Professor des Yvelines.
Known to the intelligence services and targeted by an S file, this man has been an activist since the end of the 1980s after arriving in France in 1982.
On October 8, he accompanied Brahim C., a parent of a pupil who was also arrested, to a meeting with the principal of the college of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine to complain about Samuel Paty.
He then presented himself, according to a note from territorial intelligence, as "responsible for the imams of France".
On October 12, he published a video in which he called for the “immediate suspension” of the professor, described as a “thug” for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
What were the activities of the collective?
Under the leadership of Abdelhakim Sefrioui, the Cheikh Yassine collective became known for its media and sometimes violent actions from the 2000s. It organized street prayers in 2009 in front of the Grand Mosque of Paris to oppose its rector Dalil Boubakeur, then in 2011 near the National Assembly during a march against Islamophobia.
The same year, Abdelhakim Sefrioui accompanies a mother and her daughter to meet the management of a high school in Saint-Ouen who wants to ban the abaya, a long dark dress, in class.
He then presents himself as a "representative of the parents of Muslim students who felt stigmatized by this decision", and passes himself off as the student's uncle, according to
On its site, the Cheikh Yassine collective reports the meeting, publishes the address of the establishment, and denounces "Islamophobic hysteria".
In 2010, the collective led an offensive against the imam of the mosque of Drancy, Hassen Chalghoumi, whom he criticized for being in favor of the ban on the full veil in France.
The collective then multiplies the demonstrations in front of the place of worship, and two of its members receive a two-month suspended sentence for having tried to enter the home of the imam.
In 2012 and 2014, the collective was also present in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, chanting pro-Hamas and pro-jihad (holy war) slogans, and several of its members were then arrested.
What will its dissolution be used for?
This decision has nothing "symbolic", according to Matignon, contacted by
“The collective no longer has the right to meet, to collect funds.
There will be surveillance so that there is no reconstitution of its members under another name ”.
If the members of the collective meet again, "they incur a sentence of up to three years in prison and a 75,000 euros fine", adds the Interior Ministry.
This Tuesday, Jean Castex said he wanted to dissolve "all associations whose complicity with radical Islamism can be established".
The Committee against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) and BarakaCity are in its sights, and legal work is currently being carried out to dissolve these two bodies.
In total, ten groups are targeted and 28 "are subject to increased examination" according to
Le Canard enchaîné
published on Wednesday.
The Dieudonné galaxy,
Michel Briganti, André Déchot, Jean-Paul Gautier (Syllepse editions, 2011)
Conflans attack: Why the Collective against Islamophobia is in the government's sights
Who is Abdelhakim Sefrioui, the Islamist activist who is among those in custody?