France arrests new suspect in foiled terror plot

French judicial authorities have arrested and charged a sixth suspect in a foiled militant plot to attack sites in the Paris region, a judicial source said on December 11.

France has been under a state of emergency since a wave of Islamist attacks last year, giving police wider powers, and the arrests come at a sensitive time ahead of next spring's presidential elections in which security will be a major theme.

The 31-year old suspect has been placed in preventive detention and accused of cooperation with "criminal terrorists" and of having supplied weapons to his accomplices, the source said.

Five other men suspected of being part of the plot are in custody after simultaneous police swoops last month in the southern port city of Marseille and in Strasbourg in northeast France. Investigators uncovered a plan to attack a Paris metro station and the Disneyland theme park east of Paris in the name of Islamic State, the judicial source said.

More than 230 people have been killed in Islamist militant attacks on French soil since January 2015, including 130 in coordinated gun and suicide bomb strikes in Paris in November 2015.

The French government on December 11 proposed extending the state of emergency for the fourth time until mid July. Under state of emergency conditions, imposed following the Paris attacks, police have wider powers of search and arrest.


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