French intelligence operatives on Monday arrested three suspected Islamist terrorists in the south of France, less than a day after police near Paris, in an unrelated case, executed raids leading to the arrest of a suspected six-member terror cell.
"This morning, the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence made three arrests of three individuals known and being pursued for their involvement in jihadism," French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday.
"This means that that threat is still there," he added, confirming that the arrests were made in the south of the country.
According to sources cited by French TV TF1, the three detained were composed of a couple and one other man, and the case involved the financing of terrorist activities outside France.
Separately on Monday, six members of a suspected radical Islamist terror cell who were allegedly planning "terrorist acts" on French soil were arrested in the Paris region in a series of police raids.
The suspects, aged between 22 and 38, were "all known to police for serious delinquency" and are being detained by the police anti-terrorist unit in the Paris suburb of Levallois.
According to the anti-terror police investigators, "they were planning to commit terrorist acts targeting well-known figures in France," an AFP source added.
Reports in the French media claim the cell, which had been under surveillance for months, had drawn up a 'black list' containing names of various people who they were preparing to assassinate.
The members of the suspected Islamist cell include one man from Benin, another from the Comoros and four French nationals, a source close to the case said.
They are suspected of being involved in the hold-up of a branch of the Banque Postale in Seine-et-Marne in April "and were apparently planning to commit other armed robberies," the source close to the investigation said.
The suspects can be held for up to 96 hours before being charged or released.