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France's Le Maire says to propose more controls on some Islamist groups

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wears a face mask during a press conference to present the details of new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), announced the day before by the president, in Paris, France, October 15, 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday he would propose reinforcing controls on the financial flows of some Islamist associations, after the beheading of a teacher by a suspected Islamist attacker.

“There is a problem of financing a number of Islamist associations on which I think we can and must do better,” he told France 3 Television.

He cited cryptocurrencies as an example were controls could be improved, saying they could be used to finance groups or fighters abroad.

“Cryptocurrencies pose a real problem of terrorism financing .. we must reinforce our devices.”

An 18-year-old man of Chechen origin beheaded a history teacher, Samuel Paty, on Friday after he had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, prosecutors said. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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