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CRIME

France foils jihadist plan to attack naval base

Authorities in France have arrested a man who has links to an Isis jihadist in Syria and admitted to a plot to attack military personnel at a major naval base, police and judicial sources have said.

France foils jihadist plan to attack naval base
A French aircraft carrier sets off from the Toulon navy base earlier this year. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP

The 25-year-old, whom sources said had been monitored by intelligence agencies after trying unsuccessfully twice last year to travel to Syria, was held late last month and charged on November 2nd, authorities said on Tuesday.

The interior ministry said in a statement that the man had been under surveillance “because of his radicalization and public support for jihadist ideology” and had “attempted to acquire material to carry out a violent attack on Navy personnel in Toulon”.

While he was being monitored, he had a parcel delivered by the post office which was found to contain a combat knife and a mask.

During questioning he admitted he had been in contact with a Frenchman currently in Syria with the Isis group, who had encouraged him to act, a source close to the case said.

He eventually admitted plotting to attack sailors at the Mediterranean base of Toulon, home to 70 percent of the French fleet and 20,000 military and civilian personnel, though a police source said he had not formed a detailed plan.

One source said the French IS fighter had himself been held for several months in France for making violent threats against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2012.

In January, Islamist gunmen carried out a string of attacks in Paris that left 17 dead, including much of Charlie Hebdo's editorial team.

The country has been on high alert since then and several other attacks have reportedly been foiled.

Attacks by extremists returning from Syria or in online contact with jihadists there figure high among the French intelligence services' worries,

More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with Isis in Syria and Iraq, according to official figures. 250 have returned, and some 750 have expressed a desire to go there.

CRIME

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

A 75-year-old man has been arrested in France over a murder on a well-known nudist beach outside the southeastern city of Lyon, prosecutors said.

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

The victim, aged 46, was killed on Saturday at the La Mama beach on a lake in the Lyon suburb of Miribel, regional prosecutors said.

The 75-year-old is suspected of shooting the victim multiple times in the bushes nearby following a dispute that arose after the younger man allegedly exposed himself in front of a woman, they added.

The regional daily Le Progres said that the suspect is a member of a shooting club and legally possesses a calibre 22 rifle. The victim was known to the police, it said.

The Le Parisien daily added that according to its information the victim had been a cause of trouble on the beach all Saturday morning with tensions rising to a peak when he began to masturbate in front of a woman.

An altercation ensued at which point the septuagenarian reached for his gun.

Le Progres said that at the peak of the summer season the beach — well known to Lyon’s inhabitants — was operating as normal on Sunday.

Participants in the World Naked Bike Ride France arrived even as police carried out investigations and images showed naked bathers enjoying the hot weather.

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