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Chechen man arrested in France for plotting terrorist attack on Olympics, authorities say

by Nate Ostiller May 31, 2024 10:12 PM 2 min read
The Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, France, on Sept. 12, 2020. (Marcio Machado/Getty Images)
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An 18-year-old Chechen man was arrested earlier in May on charges that he was plotting a terrorist attack at a football match scheduled to take place during the upcoming Paris Olympics, the French Interior Ministry said on May 31.

The ministry did not provide any more details but said it was the first terrorist plot targeting the Olympics that had been foiled.

The BFM media outlet later wrote, citing police sources, that the suspect was allegedly planning to target the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, which is scheduled to host several football matches as part of the Olympics.

The suspect has reportedly acknowledged that he communicated with some suspected terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS), sources told BFM, but he was allegedly only trying to "act tough" and did not intend to follow through with the plot.

The suspect, who reportedly arrived in France with his parents in 2023, was remanded into pretrial detention.

Separately, French police arrested around 10 members of the Chechen diaspora on May 28, the public media outlet France 3 reported. One of the arrests was reportedly in connection to the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, who was killed by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee in 2020.

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