Five suspects, arrested in France on suspicion of planning attacks on security targets in and around the French capital, were directed remotely by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Paris prosecutor says.
Authorities said earlier this week that attacks had been planned for December 1 against police and intelligence headquarters in Paris as well as the Disneyland Paris theme park.
The prosecutor’s emphasis that France was under direct threat of attacks from Islamic State militants raised tension as the country went into a weekend of political campaigning and a vote on Sunday for a centre-right candidate for next year’s presidential election.
France is already under a state of emergency, with soldiers patrolling the streets of the capital, following bomb and shooting attacks by Islamic militants in November 2015 which killed 130 people.
“An imminent attack was thwarted,” Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Friday.
“A Strasbourg commando team, and also a man arrested in Marseille, were given instructions to acquire arms. The instructions were given by a commander from the Iraqi-Syrian region via encrypted apps,” he said.
Hand-written documents pledging allegiance to Islamic State and glorifying martyrdom were found at a house in Strasbourg, eastern France, Mr Molins said.
A lot of defensive work goes in unnoticed. People in New Zealand believe we’ve had no terrorist-like attacks on NZ soil yet. They are wrong.
For a reason unknown to me, the otherwise petulant media have fallen in behind on this and just report that “a suspicious package” was dealt with, or “a suspect was arrested and questioned”.
But on a world scale, after a fairly regular spate of awful attacks, there has been a noticeable period of relative quiet.
Are the authorities ahead of the curve? Are media cooperating by not glorifying the events? Or have we run out of fanatics for now?
– Reuters, via Newshub