Ukraine de­tains man who planned at­tacks on Euro soc­cer cham­pi­onship in France

Planned to tar­get Mus­lim & Jewish places of wor­ship

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By PAVEL POLITYUK

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s state se­cu­rity service said on Mon­day a French cit­i­zen de­tained in late May on the bor­der with Poland had been plan­ning at­tacks in France to co­in­cide with the Euro 2016 soc­cer cham­pi­onship it is host­ing.

The Ukrainian bor­der guard service re­ported on Satur­day that the un­named 25-yearold had been ar­rested with an arse­nal of weapons and ex­plo­sives, in­clud­ing rocket launch­ers and Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fles in his ve­hi­cle.

SBU chief Va­syl Hryt­sak said the man had made con­tact with armed groups in Ukraine with the aim of buy­ing weapons and ex­plo­sives. In Paris, a French police source said a raid on the sus­pect’s home in France had un­cov­ered in­gre­di­ents for home­made ex­plo­sives.

His in­tended tar­gets in­cluded Jewish and Mus­lim places of wor­ship and build­ings in­volved with the soc­cer tour­na­ment, Hryt­sak said. French gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings, in­clud­ing those deal­ing with tax col­lec­tion, were also a tar­get

“The French­man spoke neg­a­tively about his gov­ern­ment’s ac­tions, mass im­mi­gra­tion, the spread of Is­lam and glob­al­iza­tion, and also talked about plans to carry out sev­eral ter­ror­ist at­tacks,” Hryt­sak told jour­nal­ists.

“The SBU was able to pre­vent a se­ries of 15 acts of ter­ror (planned) for the eve and dur­ing the Euro soc­cer cham­pi­onship,” he said.

A French for­eign min­istry spokesman con­firmed that a French­man has been ar­rested in Ukraine and said the min­istry was in con­tact with Ukrainian au­thor­i­ties.

French police ini­tially re­acted scep­ti­cally and said the de­tained man was not known to ei­ther police or in­tel­li­gence services.

How­ever, an­other police source close to the case said police had found a T-shirt with a badge car­ry­ing the in­signia of an ex­treme right group at the sus­pect’s home as well as “sev­eral sub­stances that could go into the mix of home­made ex­plo­sives.” The source did not elab­o­rate.

Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials in Europe are on high alert af­ter Is­lamist mil­i­tants killed 130 peo­ple in Paris last Novem­ber and sui­cide bombers killed 32 peo­ple at Bel­gium’s main international air­port and on the Brus­sels metro in March.

The United States has warned its cit­i­zens of pos­si­ble fur­ther at­tacks in Europe, say­ing tar­gets could in­clude Euro 2016, which opens in France on Friday.

Hryt­sak said the SBU had sold de­ac­ti­vated weapons to the sus­pect af­ter they found out that he was look­ing to pur­chase the arms.

(Reuters TV)

THE SUS­PECT who au­thor­i­ties say had been plan­ning at­tacks in France at the Euro 2016 soc­cer cham­pi­onships is seen pack­ing weapons at an uniden­ti­fied lo­ca­tion, in an im­age taken from video.

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