Paris Olympics terror attack foiled by French police as football stadium targeted | Other | Sport

A teenager has been arrested by French police on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack on a football stadium during the Paris Olympics. The planned attack was said to have targeted the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium, which is the home of Saint-Etienne and is scheduled to host seven matches in the football competition.

The French interior minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed today an 18-year-old suspect was arrested last week before being indicted and placed in pre-trial detention. The teenager was said to have already carried out reconnaissance for the planned attack, which was expected to target spectators and police officers.

RMC Sport say that images and videos of the stadium were allegedly found on the suspect’s mobile phone and computer. The suspect reportedly denied carrying out reconnaissance, telling investigators that he only recognised ‘exchanges’ and ‘conversations’ on encrypted messaging applications.

Darmanin said in a press release that he wanted to ‘congratulate the intelligence services which once again demonstrate their full mobilisation and their effectiveness in the fight against terrorism and the protection of our country’.

He added: “This is the first foiled attack against the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 50th attack foiled by our intelligence services since 2017.”

Matches involving France, the United States and Canada are due to be held at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium during the Paris Olympics. The national teams of Morocco, Argentina, Ukraine, New Zealand, Germany and Zambia will also play at the venue during the football competition.

Earlier this year, Darmanin said that French authorities were foiling attacks ‘almost every month’ and vowed that security services would be ready to handle all threats that could arise during the Paris Olympics. The event will be held from July 26 to August 11 and over 15 million people are expected to visit the French capital during that timeframe.

It comes after security was ramped up near stadiums in France after warnings that ISIS might have been planning to attack Champions League games in April. Media accounts linked to the terrorist group published threats to carry out attacks at football matches across Europe, listing the Parc des Princes in Paris as one of several possible targets.

France raised its national terrorist alert warning to the highest level after the ISIS attack on the Crocus City Hall in Moscow earlier this year, indicating that authorities believe an attack could be imminent. This level allows for increased security presence in certain public areas.

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