French anti-terrorism police arrested a small group with Islamic militant ties today, suspecting they may have been planning an attack in Paris, France’s interior minister said.
UK Express Local media reported the attack was planned for central Paris. All the suspects had links to radical Islam. According to TF1, police swooped on the three Muslim men and one Muslim woman in dawn raids in the eighteenth arrondissement of Paris and in the Seine-Saint-Denis area, in the north of the city.
Police reportedly seized Kalashnikov rounds, a pistol, memory sticks and a safe. The suspects are said to include two French brothers of Turkish Muslim origin, referred to as ‘Aytac and Ercan B.’ as well as ‘Youssef E.’, who TF1 reports is an Islamist well known to counter-terrorist services.
The man, a French citizen, was sentenced to five years in prison in March 2014 after he was arrested two years earlier when he tried to leave France for Syria. He was released in October 2015, TF1 reported. His partner was also arrested along with two French brothers of Turkish origin. His girlfriend was also arrested this morning, the television network reported on its website.
He was released from the prison in October 2015 and kept under house arrest since February 29, 2016 under France’s new state of emergency, which was brought in in the wake of the November 13 massacre.