According to france24.com, an imminent terrorist attack has been foiled by the French police after two men were apprehended by security forces in Marseille on Tuesday. Marseille is a city with a heavy muslim population (around 40% or more), and the arrests were made in the southern port area.
The suspects’ apartment was found to be harboring multiple weapons and explosives which were to be used in what was described by the French police as a “planned presidential attack”. Together with guns and explosives, an ISIS (Islamic State) flag was discovered in the flat where the suspects were apprehended by French police.
Two handguns and a machine gun, explosives and an ISIS flag, all these are clear signs of islamic terrorism. The French newspaper describes the arrestees as being Frenchmen, one of them born in 1987 and the other in 1993. According to judiciary sources, the two met inside of a prison while they were sharing the same cell; also, they were previously known as being radicalized islamists, probably in prison, as prisons are acting like radicalization centers and about 70% percent of the prison population in France is muslim, despite the fact that the country’s muslim population is under 10%.
Both Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins and the French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl acknowledged during a press conference that the suspects were radicalized muslims who were planning a violent terrorist attack on the eve of the presidential election.
The arrests were made by France’s intelligence agencies working together with anti-terrorist police. France will vote on Sunday in the first round of the country’s presidential election, which is a 2-stage system. Security was increased for the ballot following the long series of islamic terrorist attacks from the last two years. Security has become, unfortunately, a major issue of 2017 presidential campaign.
The main candidates, Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron were all warned of the risks:
“The main candidates were warned in the middle of last week that there was a risk and that two individuals had been identified. We received their photos. Their meetings and headquarters were given extra protection,”
Photo Remy Gabalda, AFP