In August a Muslim prayer room at Lesparre-Médoc in southwestern France suffered two attacks in the space of a week, both of which involved the spraying of fascist graffiti, and in one case this was combined with attempted arson (see here and here).
France Bleu reports that that two men, aged 39 and 24, have been arrested and charged with incitement to racial hatred and arson. They have been released on bail and are undergoing psychiatric evaluation to determine the degree of criminal responsibility.
Investigators are quoted as saying that neither of the accused is known to be a member of a Nazi group and that the involvement of such an organisation in the attacks has been ruled out. The two men are said to have acted “more out of stupidity” than from real conviction.
Given the fascist character of the graffiti, the latter claim seems quite astonishing. As indeed does the decision not to remand in prison two individuals charged with arson and presumably facing a possible jail sentence.
Update: See also the report in Sud Ouest, which reports Mohammed Boukourat, the president of the local Muslim association, as saying: “Regarding the motivation of the people who committed this act, I expect to learn more at the trial. Quite honestly, I find it hard to believe that this was just an impulsive act without ulterior motives.”