12 far right extremists set to face trial in France over Macron attack plot

AFP - [email protected]
12 far right extremists set to face trial in France over Macron attack plot
French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respect during ceremonies to mark the centenary of the First World War, in Douaumont, eastern France, on November 6, 2018. (Photo by Etienne LAURENT / EPA POOL / AFP)

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor has recommended that 12 members of a far-right group stand trial for a planned a violent attack on President Emmanuel Macron in 2018.


The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) said 11 men and one woman should be tried on charges of criminal association of terrorists, in an indictment signed August 18 and seen by AFP on Wednesday.

A magistrate will make the final decision on whether to send the group -- aged between 22 and 62 -- to court.


Fourteen people were arrested in November 2018 and after nearly four years of investigation, the prosecutor recommended dropping proceedings against two.

The PNAT said the would-be militants, who started as a Facebook group and were known as the "Barjols" (Crazies), who planned the assault.

The prosecutor said the far-right group held meetings and carried out research and training and "developed a project of violent action" against the president.

Retiree Jean-Pierre Bouyer was the group leader, PNAT said, and in 2018 he drove to Moselle in eastern France where Macron attended a memorial on the centenary of the end of the World War I.

A dagger was later found in the vehicle Bouyer used, according to the indictment, and he allegedly held discussions about attacking the President with a ceramic knife that would be undetectable in security checks.

During their meetings, the idea of burning mosques, murdering migrants, kidnapping officials and manufacturing explosives was reportedly raised, according to PNAT.

The prosecutor said group members also participated in paramilitary training and held discussions it described as showing "racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-republicanism and neo-Nazism".

France is still on edge after jihadists killed hundreds in 2015 attacks and a spate of isolated strikes at the end of 2020.


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