French court probes man on suspicion of planning attack

French authorities arrest and investigate man on suspicion of planning 'imminent' attack

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins during a press conference

A prosecutor in Paris said on Wednesday that a French court has put a Frenchman under formal investigation over suspicion of planning an imminent act of “extreme violence.”

The 32-year-old suspect, Reda Kriket, was arrested last week. He was suspected of having spent time in Syria in late 2014 and early 2015, along with another man, Anis Bahri, who was arrested in Rotterdam on March 27 at the request of French police and is expected to be extradited to France. 

Paris' Prosecutor, Francois Molins, said that the "unprecedented" amount of weapons, including five assault rifles and handguns, along with bomb making chemicals and had been found at the suspect’s apartment.

Police also found five false passports, brand-new mobile phones and two computers that contained information on making bombs and “terrorist groups” at the suspect’s apartment.

"Everything suggests that the discovery of this cache avoided an act of extreme violence by a terrorist network," Molins told a news conference.

Molins said French authorities were also working with Belgian counterparts on probing two people linked to Kriket, whom he named as Abderrahmane A. and Rabat M.

A Paris court imprisoned Abderrahmane in 2005 for taking part in the assassination of Afghan resistance commander, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed by Al Qaeda a few days before the 2001 World Trade Center attacks in the United States.

Kriket, who was imprisoned for 10 years in absentia by a Belgian court last July over recruiting DAESH terrorists for Syria, said in questioning by French investigators that he was not a terrorist, but gave up little information, Molins said.

French authorities have been tracking Kriket and Bahri since the terrorist attacks in Paris in November last year that killed at least 130 people.

Kriket was arrested on March 23, two days after suicide bombers hit the Brussels airport and a metro train, killing 32 people.

TRTWorld, Reuters