Police officers patrol on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on April 21, 2017, a day after a gunman opened fire on police, killing a policeman and wounding two others on the famous avenue in an attack claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. (Photo by AFP)
French prosecutors have charged a man with plotting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron
during an upcoming parade in Paris.
A judicial source said Monday that the 23-year-old man was charged on Monday with plotting to commit a terrorist act. He was arrested at his home in the northwest Paris suburb of Argenteuil on Wednesday.
Police were tipped off about the man after users of a chat room linked to a video game said he wanted to buy a firearm.
The judicial source said the man had confessed that he wanted to kill Macron at the July 14 national day parade in Paris. The source added that the man had also planned to attack Muslims, Jews and blacks.
The source, who was close to the investigation, said the man had hidden kitchen knives in his vehicles while investigators found information on his computer showing that he had searched on the internet for potential targets.
Reports said the man had criminal records related to terrorism, which dated back to 2016 when he allegedly applauded Anders Behring Breivik, a neo-Nazi mass murderer who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway in 2011. The French man was convicted for condoning terrorism at the time and was given a three-year prison sentence, 18 months of which were later suspended.
French President Emmanuel Macron waves from a military vehicle as he rides on the Champs-Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, May 14, 2017. (Photo by AP)
has been reeling from a spate of terrorist attacks over the past years.
Authorities introduced a state of emergency in November 2015 when 130 people were killed in a matter of a night in attacks in Paris. The measure has been extended for several times as authorities seek to cope with sporadic attacks on people and security forces in crowded places. Most of the attacks have been claimed by Daesh, a Takfiri terrorist group mainly operating in Iraq and Syria.
Last month, a man drove a car laden with weapons and gas canisters into a police van stationed on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.
In April, a gunman shot dead a police officer on the Champs-Elysees days before the first round of the presidential election.
On July 14, Macron is to attend the Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Elysees.