90,000 Troops will be de­ployed dur­ing Euro 2016

Armed man ar­rested by Ukraine agency

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Ukraine’s in­tel­li­gence agency SBU has thwarted a plot to at­tack the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in France by ar­rest­ing an armed French­man who wanted to cross from Ukraine into the Euro­pean Union.

The SBU said it had fol­lowed the man since De­cem­ber and al­lowed him to pur­chase five ma­chine guns, two rocket pro­pelled grenades and other weapons be­fore he was ar­rested on the bor­der be­tween Ukraine and Poland last month.

The SBU didn’t iden­tify the man but said he was driven by ul­tra-na­tion­al­ist views and planned 15 at­tacks on bridges, rail­ways and other pieces of in­fra­struc­ture for Euro 2016, which will be held in France starting on Fri­day.

Fol­low­ing at­tacks at the Stade de France in Novem­ber, ex­trem­ist at­tacks are a ma­jor concern for French au­thor­i­ties as they pre­pare to host the month-long tour­na­ment at sta­di­ums in the Paris area and eight other cities un­til July 10.

ISIS ex­trem­ists have threat­ened France dur­ing the tour­na­ment, but au­thor­i­ties have not con­firmed spe­cific dan­gers.

The French govern­ment is de­ploy­ing 90,000 se­cu­rity forces for the tour­na­ment, and French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande said on Sun­day that the threat of at­tacks won’t stop it from be­ing suc­cess­ful.

Ukrainian au­thor­i­ties re­leased pho­tos of a fair-haired man, with his face blurred, hold­ing var­i­ous weapons.

The SBU said the French­man came up on their radar last year dur­ing his stay in eastern Ukraine, and where he was “try­ing to es­tab­lish ties with Ukrainian troops un­der the guise of vol­un­teer­ing”. Ukrainian troops and Rus­sia-backed sep­a­ratists have fought in the east since April 2014, killing more than 9,400 peo­ple. It was not im­me­di­ately clear which side of the con­flict the sus­pect had stayed at.

“The French­man spoke neg­a­tively about his govern­ment’s mi­gra­tion poli­cies, the spread of Is­lam and glob­al­i­sa­tion,” said the SBU.

“He also said that he wanted to per­pe­trate acts of ter­ror in protest.”

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