French police arrest man suspected of planning a future attack on Paris

Published March 25th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
French police vehicles are seen outside the Bataclan theater, one of the sites of the November attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. (AFP/File)
French police vehicles are seen outside the Bataclan theater, one of the sites of the November attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. (AFP/File)

A man suspected of plotting an attack, which was in its “advanced stages”, in France has been arrested near Paris on Thursday as part of a large-scale counter-terrorism operation.

Police found explosives at the man's home in the northwestern suburb of Argenteuil Thursday evening, said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

“These searches follow an arrest by the [French intelligence agency] on Thursday morning that allowed us to stop a planned bombing in France that was at an advanced stage,” he said late Thursday.

The individual was sentenced in absentia in 2015 in Belgium in a case regarding the passage of militants into Syria, according to French media. He was arrested in the Boulogne-Billancourt suburb of Paris.

“This arrest is the result of a careful investigation that began several weeks ago, and which mobilized important human and technical surveillance resources, as well as close and ongoing cooperation with European intelligence agencies," said the interior minister.

“The individual questioned, a French national, is suspected of high-level involvement in this plan. He was part of a terrorist network that planned to strike France,” Cazeneuve added.

However, the minister said : “At this stage, there is no tangible evidence that links this plot to the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”

The arrest comes after suicide bomb attacks at an airport and in a subway station in Brussels, which killed 31 people.

France is on high alert since the attacks on Paris on November 13, in which 130 people were killed.


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