French authorities have thwarted two major Islamist terror attacks since January, the country’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a radio interview. ‘Several suspects have been arrested’ in this connection and the investigations are still underway, media reports indicate.
An 18-year-old French Muslim convert has been arrested for planning a terror attack on an unnamed French soccer team, the UK newspaper Daily Express reported. The second attack was being plotted by a 33-year-old Muslim convert who had acquired bombmaking equipment, French officials reveal.
The English language French news website The Local covered Interior Minister Collomb’s statement:
France has foiled two terror attacks this year targeting a leading sports team and the armed forces, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Sunday. (...)
"Since January 1st, we have foiled two planned attacks which had not been totally finalised but a number of people were in the process of trying to execute them," Collomb said on Europe 1 radio.
One was "in the east" of the country and one "in the west", he said. One of them was planned against a "big sports team" where "young people were targeted", and the other the armed forces.
He said police had followed a number of people suspected Islamists and arrested them.
"That is how we were able to thwart" these plots, Collomb said, but declined to give further details as to the location of those held or the planned targets.
An estimated 20 terror plots were foiled by the French authorities last year. Paris remains on high alert after a wave of Islamist attacks in the city since 2015. In January 2015, Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists attacked the office of Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 11 people. Later that year, a group of ISIS terrorists murdered 130 people, including 89 concert-goers at the Bataclan theater.
Hundreds of French nationals, who traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS, have returned to France so far. Last week, the Macron government unveiled a new program to de-radicalize returning ISIS jihadis. The plan seeks to facilitate the ‘re-integration’ of ISIS war criminals into French society through elaborate taxpayer-funded projects.
Despite France’s much-publicized recent successes in averting terror attacks on its soil, the Macron government fails to address the fundamental issues driving Islamist terror. Allowing hundreds of battle-hardened ISIS terrorists to return to the country and failing to stop the mass migration from jihad-infested Muslim-majority countries continue to jeopardize the safety of ordinary French citizens.