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TERRORISM

‘Nationalist’ charged over threat to assassinate French President during Bastille Day parade

A 23-year-old who describes him as a "far right nationalist" has been charged in France for an alleged plan to kill President Emmanuel Macron during this month's July 14th Bastille Day parade in Paris, according to reports.

'Nationalist' charged over threat to assassinate French President during Bastille Day parade
Photo: AFP

The 23-year-old man from the suburb of Argenteuil near Paris has been arrested charged with terror offences, according to French media RMC, for an alleged plot to assassinate the new president during the annual July 14th parade on the Champs-Elysées.

The reports were later confirmed by police and judicial sources to other media.

According to reports the man, who describes himself as a “nationalist” and follows the ideology of the far right, came to the attention of intelligence services after he was flagged up for a conversation he had online.

According to RMC, he used a chat room linked to an online game to express his desire to get hold of a Kalashnikov to commit an attack.

His words were then reported to a government website that allows members of the public to report suspicious activity.

Three kitchen knives were found in his vehicle and analysis of his computer found that he had conducted internet searches on potential targets, the source said.

He was charged on Saturday with plotting to commit a terrorist act, the judicial source told AFP.

It was under questioning that the man admitted he wanted to carry out a political act by killing the president during the parade on France's national day.

He also admitted to police he wanted to attack “blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals,” RMC stated.

“His plot remains vague but he indicated he wanted to attack minorities. He appeared to have been inspired by previous mass shootings including the Colombine massacre,” a police source told L'Express newspaper.

The individual was described as mentally unstable but “determined” and had already been convicted of glorifying terrorism (apologie du terrorisme) in 2016.

The man was convicted for condoning terrorism in 2016 and sentenced to three years in prison, of which 18 months were suspended.

He had applauded neo-Nazi mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in 2011 in Norway.

In 2002 neo-Nazi sympathizer Maxime Brunerie attempted to assassinate former President Jacques Chirac on Bastille Day.

The top date in France's ceremonial calendar, the July 14 parade commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 — the start of the French Revolution and a turning point in world history.

The parade takes place on Paris's Champs-Elysees, which has been the site of two recent attacks targeting police.

 

 

CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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