Two charged in France over ‘plot to attack gay people’
Two men have been charged in France on suspicion of planning an attack in the name of the Islamic State group which sources close to the investigation said may have targeted gay people.
Sources said the men, described as friends aged 21 and 22, were arrested at their home Saturday by investigators from the DGSI domestic intelligence agency in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris.
Searches found two knives, a detonation system and Islamic State propaganda material in their possession, a source said.
“Their plan was still ill-defined at this stage, but there were elements to suggest they planned to attack homosexuals,” one source added.
The two men, said to be unknown to security services, were charged on Tuesday by an anti-terrorism judge and detained.
DGSI agents were first alerted to their plans several weeks ago after “they referred several times to a plan for an attack,” said a source close to the inquiry, describing them as “very determined”.
“One of them had mentioned trying to find a weapon,” another source told AFP.
It is the fourth plot foiled by the DGSI since the beginning of this year in France, following the arrest of an Egyptian man, also unknown to security services, who was said to be planning a bomb or poison attack.
The 20-year-old man was detained in Paris in May after the authorities intercepted messages on social media referring to the plot.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told parliament in March that a total of 51 planned attacks had been thwarted since January 2015, when gunman killed twelve people after storming the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
France has remained on high alert following a string of jihadist attacks since then which have killed more than 240 people.