Frenchman detained in Ukraine for planning terror attacks during Euro 2016

Frenchman detained in Ukraine over Euro 2016 terror plots

A number of planned terrorist attacks targeting mosques and synagogues during the Euro 2016 in France have been thwarted, according to a Ukrainian security chief.

The head of the state’s security services said a Frenchman was detained in the country after making contact with illegal armed groups to buy guns and explosives.

It is claimed that he intended to target Muslim and Jewish places of worship in France, plus administrative buildings and infrastructure such as bridges and railways.

Vasily Gritsak said the unnamed man was arrested in late May on the border with Poland, carrying 125kg of TNT.

The suspect had been tailed since December, Mr Gritsak said, and was seen buying five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenades, and other weapons.

He also had 100 detonators and 20 balaclavas.

At a news conference he said: “The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government’s actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalisation, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks.”

Last week the US State Department issued a “potential terrorist attacks” warning for Americans planning to travel to Europe.

The travel alert, which expires on 31 August, made no mention of specific threats to Euro 2016 matches or other events, but warned US citizens to “exercise vigilance” and “avoid crowded places”.

France’s national stadium, the Stade de France, was one site targeted during the 13 November Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

Suicide bombers detonated explosive belts near gates at the stadium as France played Germany in a friendly match.

In recent months, French special forces have been preparing to deal with simulated attacks during the tournament by carrying out several practice runs with emergency teams.

British police officers will be stationed at Eurostar terminals and on some cross-channel trains during the tournament, to prevent trouble and to stop known troublemakers from travelling to the tournament.

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