By: V4 Agency
One of them admitted during the hearing that they wanted to carry out a knife attack during the Christmas season to kill “infidels.” The interior minister wrote on social media that the terrorist threat in the country remains high.
The French Directorate-General for Internal Security (DGSI) managed to prevent an act of terrorism timed for the Christmas period by arresting two 23-year-old young men who had been preparing for a knife attack in the name of Islam. Le Parisien writes that DGSI had been monitoring the two suspects’ activity on the internet as they were discussing the details of the attack. The paper writes that the two met in person in recent weeks and were targeting a location especially busy during the holiday season, such as a mall or shopping street.
The two individuals were detained in Seine-et-Marne and Yvelines, two departments adjacent to Paris, back on 29 November, but details of the case have only just been released. The two radical Islamists were charged with conspiring in organised terrorist activity and were jailed on 3 December. Press reports say that a house search conducted in their homes found knives, laptops, and computers with a significant amount of jihadist content which they used to disseminate their ideology.
During police interrogation, one of the suspects admitted that his plan was to murder the “infidels” and die as a “martyr”, as police would probably have shot him. He also admitted that he and his accomplice would have carried out the terrorist attack on behalf of the Islamic State. The weekly Valeurs Actuelles reports that one of the young men was on the French authorities’ register as being radicalised and was sentenced in April 2019 by the Paris juvenile court to a four-year suspended prison sentence which he did not serve because he pleaded being underage.
Commenting on the incident, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin wrote on Twitter that the authorities’ vigilance remains high as the terrorist threat in France remains high, and he thanked the staff of the Directorate-General for Internal Security, who had arrested the two men.
In France, it was the fourth time this year that the authorities have managed to foil a planned terrorist attack. Before Easter, a mother and her four daughters were arrested in the southern town of Beziers, on suspicion of targeting a church in Montpellier. Le Parisien reported that the attack was planned for Easter Monday and that one of the girls was only 15 years old. According to press reports, a search of the women’s home turned up homemade explosive devices and the ingredients to make them, as well as a sword.