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Foiled Paris terror plot 'was being directed from abroad'

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Foiled Paris terror plot 'was being directed from abroad'
File photo: AFP
12:54 CET+01:00
The thwarted plot to attack targets in the Paris region was directed from the Middle East, a French prosecutor has said.

A group of suspected extremists arrested last weekend in France were Islamic State supporters, who were preparing an attack on the Paris area that was being directed from "the Iraqi-Syrian region," a prosecutor said Friday.

Public prosecutor Francois Molins said police had found automatic weapons and evidence of allegiances to the ISIS group, after raids in Strasbourg and Marseille, and the group was planning to strike in the Paris area on December 1st.

Sources close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday that Disneyland Paris theme park as well as police HQ in Paris were among the sites to be targeted.

However Molins said: "At this stage it is not possible to determine the precise targets among all the sites identified by the group. Evidence found on mobile phones showed numerous places had been researched."

Police sources had also told AFP that members of the cell had researched bars in north east Paris as well as the Champs Elysées Christmas market.

But Molins confirmed that the police investigation had proved that the terror cell was being given directions from the Middle East region covering Iraq and Syria which were controlled by Isis forces.

"It appears that the Strasbourg cell and the individual held in Marseille had joint instructions for how to get arms, instructions given by an commander.

Molins added that: "Evidence seized in Strasbourg included clear written messages declaring allegiance to Isis and glorifying dying as a martyr.

Out of the seven suspects initially arrested, two were released, but five - four French nationals and one Moroccan - will be presented to a judge on Friday where they are expected to be charged for terrorism offences.

 

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