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Disneyland: 'I took guns after mum refused to have them'

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Disneyland: 'I took guns after mum refused to have them'
Hotel New York. Photo: AFP
10:35 CET+01:00
While most drew the immediate conclusion that a man arrested at Disneyland Paris with guns and a Koran had designs to commit a terrorist attack, the reality could be very different.

A 28-year-old Frenchman spent the night in custody on Thursday after being arrested as he tried to enter the New York Hotel at Disneyland Paris with two guns.

The guns were reportedly in a concealed bag that set off the alarm on the metal detectors placed in the hotel's entrance, as a result of tightened security in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

Along with the guns was a copy of the Koran and ammunition. It happened of course as France and particularly Paris remains on edge after the November terror attacks by jihadist gunmen.

A woman he was with apparently fled in panic. As the story broke most jumped to the conclusion that another terror attack on Paris had been foiled.

However since then the story has taken on a somewhat bizarre twist.

The young man, who is not known to France's intelligence services and only a criminal record for a driving offence, told police he bought the two 7.65 calibre guns a few years in order to protect himself.

“He feared for his safety,” he apparently told police and said he had been "threatened". 

The man said the incident was all one big misunderstanding.

He reportedly told officers that he was in the process of moving house away from Paris and had stored most of belongings at his mum's house temporarily.

But, according to Europe1, his mum refused to keep his two guns under her roof, forcing the man to take them with him to Disneyland, where he planned to have a break with his girlfriend.

Europe1 said his girlfriend who fled the scene before being arrested at her home, backed up the man's story.

And police do not believe he was planning any kind of attack.

“In view of the initial elements of the investigation, we are moving away from the idea of an attack," a police source told Reuters news agency.

According to a source close to the investigation, the suspect was the joint manager of a brasserie in Paris's 14tharrondissement.

Staff and regulars there expressed astonishment at his arrest.

"For me it's a mistake," a member of the bar staff told AFP by telephone, adding that the phone had been "ringing every two seconds" since the news.

"Honestly, I'm taken aback. It's a joke," added the other co-manager.

So far the investigation has not revealed that the man had any criminal plot in mind, meaning he could be looking at a charge of transporting and owning illegal weapons, rather than any terror related offences.

However police searches will continue and the fact the Koran was in the bag alongside the guns, still concerns investigators, who haven't revealed the man's explanation.

Perhaps if he'd left it with his mother, France wouldn't have had its latest in a long list of terror scares.

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