Official: French police thwart attack days before election

Official: French police thwart attack days before election

PARIS — French police thwarted an imminent “terror attack,” arresting two suspected radicals Tuesday in the southern port city of Marseille, the interior minister said just days before the first round of France’s presidential election.

The two men “intended to commit an attack on French soil in the very short term, which is to say in coming days,” Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said at a brief news conference.

France votes Sunday in the first round of its two-stage election, with security ramped up for the ballot after a series of attacks in recent years that have made security one of the major issues of the campaign.

The men, both French, one born in 1987 and the other in 1993, are “suspected of wanting to commit, in an imminent way, a violent action on the eve of the French presidential election,” the minister said.

He gave no details about potential targets or motives.

President Francois Hollande hailed the “remarkable” arrests and the work of police.

Agents from the French domestic security agency, backed by elite police units, conducted the arrests. Searches are also underway, Fekl said.

France’s fight against homegrown and overseas Islamic extremism has been one of the main soapboxes for presidential candidates, particularly those on the right, seeking to appeal to voters traumatized by Islamic State group-inspired attacks that have killed at least 235 people in France since January 2015, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country.

With the terror threat “higher than ever,” Fekl said “everything is being done” to secure the election, the candidates, their election headquarters and rallies.

He said more than 50,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed in France and its overseas territories on Sunday and the decisive second-round vote on May 7.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Armstrong RCMP seek suspicious driver

Want to speak with man who spoke to two young girls while in his car as they walked home from school

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

RCMP look to reunite owner with stolen tools

Kelowna police seek to identify the owner of tablet and tools seized by RCMP

Most Read