'Radical' Frenchman arrested after flying to Morocco with knives, gas bottle in luggage: Official

NANTES (AFP) - A Frenchman described as "radicalised" was arrested in Morocco on Wednesday (March 9) after flying there with low-cost airline Ryanair with knives and a gas bottle in the hold, a local government official said.

The 31-year-old man, who had been under house arrest in France, was held upon his arrival in Fez, where the authorities discovered the items in his luggage, which also included a black balaclava.

He took the flight from Nantes in western France, despite heightened security in the country, which is still under a state of emergency imposed after an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attack on Paris last November that left 130 people dead.

Local government officials identified him as Manuel Broustail, a former soldier who converted to Islam.

He was arrested in November after the attacks and placed under house arrest.

The municipality of the Loire-Atlantique region said Broustail was no longer under house arrest when he checked into the flight, and there was no reason to stop him leaving France.

According to photos published in Moroccan media, Broustail's luggage appeared to contain at least four kitchen knives, a machete, two pocket knives, a truncheon, a balaclava and gas bottle.

The municipality said France had signalled the man's presence to the Moroccan authorities and that his arrest in Fez "was not a matter of chance".

The Dublin-based carrier Ryanair told AFP the case was "the responsibility of Nantes airport security officials, who are investigating".