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France seeks conspiracy theorist over 8-year-old s kidnapping

France seeks conspiracy theorist over 8-year-old s kidnapping
World
STRASBOURG, FRANCE -- French prosecutors announced Tuesday an international arrest warrant for a leading figure in conspiracy circles who is suspected of helping to organize the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl that gripped the country last week.

The girl, identified as Mia, was found with her 28-year-old mother Lola Montemaggi on Sunday by police in Switzerland, following an intense five-day search after she was taken from her grandmother s home in Poulieres, eastern France.

Five men as well as Montemaggi have been detained over the abduction, which saw three of the men pose as child welfare officials to convince the grandmother to hand Mia over.

Prosecutors say that the plot was code-named "Operation Lima," and that they had walkie-talkies, camping gear, fake licence plates and a budget of 3,000 euros (US$3,600) to cover expenses.

They said the mother s associates in the kidnapping plan were anti-system activists who believe that "children in care are unfairly taken from their parents."

After questioning the suspects, investigators say they may have been helped by Remy Daillet, known to French police as a proponent of extremist conspiracy theories and a populist takeover of the state.
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