French police foil terror plots targeting ‘homosexuals and swingers’
Two men in their twenties have reportedly been arrested in France for plotting to carry out a terrorist attack targeting the LGBT community.
They were arrested in the Paris suburb of Seine-et-Marne, accused of planning to carry out an Islamic State inspired attack targeting gay people.
Knives, a firing device and Islamist State group propaganda were found during raids conducted on Saturday by France’s intelligence service after the pair were arrested on June 9.
“Their plan remains unclear at this stage, but there is evidence to suggest they are targeting homosexuals,” sources familiar with the investigation told the French media.
The two men are now in pre-trial detention, following a request by the prosecutor.
Sources told L’Express, a French newspaper, that the pair were “very determined,” and that they had mentioned “several times a project of attack in their exchanges.”
“One of them mentioned the search for a weapon,” said another source.
The friends first came to the attention of French intelligence agencies a few weeks ago, before being arrested on June 9.
Another man was also arrested in a separate incident, accused of planning to carry out an attack targeting swingers’ clubs.
The suspect, described as a 38-year-old recent convert to Islam, was arrested in the central Indre region of the country.
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The man, originally from the Loiret region, was charged and taken into custody on May 17 for “associating with terrorist criminals” and “preparing an act of terrorism.”
He allegedly had an improvised explosive device at this home, and was intending to use it to attack the clubs.
The discovery of the plots means that five potential terrorist attacks in France have been foiled by police so far this year.
In March, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Parliament that 51 attacks had been thwarted by police since January 2015, when gunmen attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine.
The country remains on high alert following a string of jihadi terrorist attacks over the past few years which have claimed the lives of more than 250 people.