French Minister of the Interior Claude Gueant announced the immediate expulsion of two Muslim radicals from France back to their native countries Tuesday in what is likely a continued reaction to the killings committed by Islamic militant Mohamed Merah last month.
The two men to be deported are identified as Ali Belhadad and Almany Baradji, imams from Algeria and Mali, respectively.
They were arrested on Friday along with 17 other Islamic militants in dawn raids conducted by France's Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence (DCRI) in the southern city of Toulouse, where Merah killed seven people, and several other towns.
The 19 people arrested are suspected of plotting the abduction of a Jewish judge, Albert Levy, from Lyon.
They were involved in collective war-like training, linked to a violent, religious indoctrination, DCRI head Bernard Squarcini told the BBC.
Belhadad, who previously served a prison sentence for a 1994 terror attack in Marrakech, Morocco, is accused of rekindling diligent relations with the radical Islamic movement, Gueant told the French newspaper Le Parisien.
Baradji, the Malian imam, was expelled for preaching anti-Semitism, advocating wearing the full-face veil, rejecting the West and the education of juvenile delinquents in foreign-based Koran schools.
We do not accept Islamic extremism. This is not a new policy ... but after what happened in Toulouse and Montauban we have to be more vigilant than ever, Gueant told France's BFM TV, as reported by the BBC.
Three more men are awaiting the review of their own expulsion orders, Saudi and Turkish imams and a militant of Tunisian origin.
Saad Nasser Alshatri is the Saudi accused of advocating women's isolation, the ghettoization of Islamic communities within French communities, drug trafficking and acquiring French citizenship to facilitate preaching of conversion to Islam, Gueant was reported as saying by Le Parisien.
Alshatri is absent from France at the moment, but he would be deported immediately upon any attempt to enter the French territory.
The Turkish imam is Yusuf Yuksef, who promotes hatred towards the West and Jews. He is next in line to undergo an expulsion review by the government.
Finally, there is Malek Drine, an Islamic militant from Tunisia who publicly promotes rejection of the West and the murder of people who spurn Islam.
Since the Toulouse and Montauban killings, in which Merah murdered seven people, French officials have adopted a strict zero-tolerance policy toward radical rhetoric against the French republic.
All those who make remarks contrary to the values of the republic will be instantly put outside the territory of the French Republic. There will be no exception. There will be no leniency, said President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is running for re-election, as quoted by the BBC.
All five men expelled from France or awaiting expulsion allowed themselves to behave or associate with issues threatening to the public's security and state's existence, and with the potential to incite violence, discrimination, or hatred, said Gueant according to Le Parisien.
The crackdown on Islamic radicalism comes after security forces were criticized for delays in Merah's capture. Critics argue that enough evidence existed for Merah to have been arrested before he committed any of the murders.