PARIS (AFP) – French police on Tuesday (Feb 21) arrested three men suspected of planning a terror attack in raids in the Paris area, Marseille and the central city of Clermont-Ferrand, legal sources said.
In Clermont-Ferrand, a bomb-disposal operation was called in to sweep the home of a 37-year-old suspect for explosives, a source said.
“The suspects had a plot that was sufficiently advanced for the police to decide to arrest them,” another source said.
The raids were ordered by anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris, according to a judicial source.
France, which has been rocked by a wave of deadly jihadist attacks from January 2015, remains on high alert.
On Feb 3, a 29-year-old Egyptian armed with machetes lunged at four soldiers on patrol outside the Louvre museum, crying “Allahu Akbar” (God Is Greatest). He was shot and seriously injured by one of the soldiers.
A week later, police arrested four people in southern France, including a 16-year-old girl near Montpellier, on suspicion they were planning an “imminent” attack.
During the raid, the officers found ingredients used to make TATP, a highly unstable homemade explosive used in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.
The teenage girl, her partner and an older man described as their mentor were charged with terrorist offences.