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Willie Brigitte
A man convicted of plotting to attack the Lucas Heights nuclear research facility outside Sydney is among 17 people arrested in a French crackdown on suspected Islamist networks.

Willie Brigitte was deported from Australia in 2003 after being convicted of the attempted attack.

Brigitte was sentenced to nine years in jail, but allowing for time already spent in custody, he was freed in 2009.

When police raided his suburban home in Paris on Friday morning they did not find any weapons, but they did confiscate his computer and a mobile phone.

France's domestic intelligence unit says those arrested are French nationals involved in "collective war-like training, linked to a violent, religious indoctrination".

The suspects can be held until Tuesday (local time).

Other dawn raids were carried out in Toulouse, the home of Mohamed Merah, who was shot dead by police after a series of attacks on soldiers and Jewish children.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy says the arrests are not directly linked to the Merah case, but part of his country's increased surveillance of "radical Islam".