France arrests 7 allegedly planning potential attack, interior minister says
Anti-terror authorities in France arrested seven people who had allegedly been planning a potential attack, the interior minister said Monday.
The suspects were arrested in Strasbourg and Marseille over the weekend. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that six of the seven men were not on intelligence services’ radar. He added that the arrests prevented “a terrorist act that had been envisaged for a long time.”
The suspects were of French, Moroccan and Afghan and their ages ranged between 19- and 37-years-old. The Director General of Interior Security had been following the group for eight months and the group was awaiting an arms delivery.
A first group of five individuals were arrested in June during the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. That group had a link with the group that was arrested over the weekend.
Cazeneuve didn’t immediately identify the planned target of the potential attack.
The arrests came five days before the opening of the famed Christmas market in Strasbourg, which attracts tourists from across Europe and was the target of a failed extremist plot in 2000.
Cazeneuve said 43 people have been arrested in November alone as part of anti-terror operations following deadly Islamic State attacks on France over the past two years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.