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TERRORISM

Four arrested in France over planned ‘extremely violent’ attack on security forces

Three adults and a teenager have been arrested over a planned attack on the country's security forces in the coming days, French prosecutors said Monday, which a minister described as "extremely violent".

Four arrested in France over planned 'extremely violent' attack on security forces
It is believed that French security forces were the intended target of the attack. Photo: AFP

All four were arrested on Friday as part of an investigation into a terrorist conspiracy, but there were no immediate details on the nature of the planned attack.

“Four people are being held over a plan to carry out an extremely violent terror attack,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters.


Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. Photo: AFP

One of the suspects is a minor serving a probationary sentence at an educational facility after being sentenced to three years, two suspended, for trying to travel to Syria, the Paris prosecutor's office said. 

The other three are known for common law offences, according to a source close to the inquiry which was opened by prosecutors on February 1st and is being handled by the DGSI, France's domestic intelligence agency. 

France has been on high alert since the start of a wave of jihadist attacks began in 2015, leaving more than 250 people dead, with the Islamic State (IS) group urging followers to target soldiers and police in France. 

Despite the collapse of IS's self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria last month, the threat of further attacks inspired by the group remains high. 

At the end of March, two men, one which psychiatric problems, were indicted in Paris on suspicion of planning an attack on a school or a police officer. 

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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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