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Montevideo, June 23rd 2024 - 21:13 UTC



Jihadist attack against Paris 2024 Olympics prevented

Friday, May 31st 2024 - 20:05 UTC
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Darmanin stressed that this was the first attack against the Olympic Games to be thwarted Darmanin stressed that this was the first attack against the Olympic Games to be thwarted

An 18-year-old Chechen suspect was detained by French authorities as he allegedly planned to attack the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Étienne, which will host Paris 2024 men's and women's football matches will be played shortly. This “Islamist-inspired” aggression was “the first attack dismantled against the Olympic Games” although French secret services have already prevented 50 such events since 2017.

“The agents of the Ministry of the Interior are fully mobilized for the security of the French people,” stressed Minister Gérald Darmanin. France has been at the highest level of anti-terrorist alert since March given the international gathering to be staged from July 26 to August 12. Darmanin stressed that this was the first attack against the Olympic Games to be thwarted.

Official sources quoted by the BFMTV channel said the suspect arrived in France with his family in 2023. Search operations produced material related to the stadium. He is said to have only admitted to conversations through messaging applications. Six games are scheduled for the St Etienne facility.

The arrest took place in Saint-Étienne on May 22, and the accused is now in custody after being charged on May 26, but it was not until Friday that the Interior Ministry announced the security procedure.

According to local media, the would-be perpetrator intended to attack spectators at the Geoffrey-Guichard stadium and eventually kill himself.

So far no specific threats have been received against the Paris Olympics, despite which police have arrested at least 78 people trying to disrupt the passage of the Olympic flame, which landed in France on May 8 in Marseille. The police intelligence services have 1,300 people in their files who they consider to pose a terrorist risk and who are being followed, including 150 minors, the vast majority of them between 18 and 30 years of age. According to police territorial information director Bertrand Chamolaud, a quarter of those on file are “psychiatric cases.”

In this scenario, the legendary Foreign Legion has been summoned to perform security duties during the Games. A corps of some 10,000 soldiers founded nearly 195 years ago, the Foreign Legion is the only French army unit in which foreign nationals can enlist. They can apply for French nationality after several years of service, or sooner if they distinguish themselves in battle.

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