A terror suspect was arrested in France after allegedly using gay dating apps to seek men online.
According to the newspaper, police reports state that AB was under surveillance from France’s General Directorate for Internal Security as a suspected member of an extremist Islamic group.
Suspect ‘used gay dating apps’ to target men
Officials noted that the man had been engaging with gay men online on dating websites Lovoo and Rencontre Ados, suspecting him of seeking potential victims via the apps.
AB is believed to have approached around 20 men via the services, using a picture of a blond man on his profile and seeking to meet up with them in person.
One of the potential victims, identified as X, told investigators that he grew suspicious after speaking to AB over the phone, as he had a thick accent that X believed did not match the man in his profile picture.
X, who is underage, went to the police with his mother after AB allegedly attempted to coax him into a real-life meeting.
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AB was arrested the next day.
The suspect told police he was a “practising Muslim but against terrorism,” but a search reportedly revealed he had 7,000 ISIS-related images. He had also sent messages on encrypted messaging app Telegram in which he referred to a secret “project,” according to the report.
Police also raided the home of BE, a school friend of AB, and found two knives and a makeshift gun.
LGBT people have faced several terrorist plots
A teenager in Germany was arrested in September after allegedly plotting a bomb attack on a gay nightclub.
The Associated Press reported that the arrest came after intelligence was provided by the United States that indicated the teen was planning attacks on a gay venue and a Catholic church in the city.
Gay venues have been targeted by terrorists on a number of occasions.
In 2017, the French Interior Minister announced that officers had averted a terrorist “plan of violent action” targeting “Parisian nightclubs and in particular gay clubs.”
Meanwhile, an ISIS-inspired teacher in east London was convicted in March 2018 of plotting attacks on gay bars and public landmarks in London.