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'Church attack plot' foiled by French police

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'Church attack plot' foiled by French police



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At least one church in the Paris region is believed to have been targeted by a man suspected of planning an imminent armed attack.

French police have detained a 24-year-old computer science student.

Said to be Algerian or Franco-Algerian, he was arrested after apparently shooting himself by accident and calling the emergency services. A blood trail led them to a car and a shocking discovery.

Giving details of Sunday’s arrest in southeast Paris, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said:

“In the 13th district, in the vehicle and home of an individual who had been shot, police found a large collection of weapons of war, handguns, ammunition, bulletproof vests and computer and telephone hardware.”

Cazeneuve told reporters: “Detailed documents that were also found established beyond doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, probably on one or two churches.”

The detained man is also suspected of being involved in the murder of a 32-year-old woman found dead in her car in the Paris region on Sunday.

It is thought Aurélie Chatelain, the mother of a five-year-old girl, may have been killed in an attempt to steal her vehicle.

The suspect had previously come to the attention of authorities as possibly wanting to go to Syria.

Police had made checks on him in 2014 and 2015 without finding anything that would warrant further investigation.

France has been on alert since Islamist militants killed 17 people in Paris in January in attacks on a Jewish supermarket and the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper.


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