French police arrest teenager over ‘plot to attack Elysées Palace’

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The Elysées Palace – where the French president lives and works – was a possible target, say police. Photo: AFP

French police arrested a 16-year-old in the eastern city of Strasbourg on Tuesday as part of an investigation into a suspected plot to attack security forces and possibly the presidential Elysee Palace, a judicial source told AFP.

His arrest comes after three adults and another teenager were arrested on April 26 over plans to carry out what Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said would have been an "extremely violent terror attack".

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The attack was allegedly planned to coincide with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in France on Monday, with officials saying the suspects had scouted out areas near the Elysee and a police station in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.

France's TF1 television said the fifth suspect was a high school student of Chechen origin who was arrested at his parents' home.

"Intelligence services suspect he was supposed to publish a video claiming allegiance to Daesh on the group's behalf," TF1 reported, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, a claim confirmed by the judicial source.

"Several projects were envisioned, all against security forces," including those stationed outside the Elysee, the source said.

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