During the arrests, the police notably discovered a saber……
Police said the arrests took place overnight in the nearby city of Beziers. The anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office and domestic intelligence service are handling the investigation.
The mayor said an 18-year-old woman, her mother and three sisters were arrested.
The 18-year-old had “boasted” to neighbours about watching Islamic State videos, though it was unclear whether she or her family had been on authorities’ radar for radicalism.
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France: Police arrest 5 women suspected of planning ‘violent’ attack against church
Five women, one of whom is suspected of planning to commit violence, were arrested in the south of France, according to local media reports on Sunday.
Police have also opened a preliminary terrorism investigation into the matter.
The arrests were made in Béziers in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) after learning of the supposed plot by the female suspects.
A judicial source told French media that only one of the women detained is suspected of wanting to carry out the violent plot.
The other four women – the mother and three sisters of the person initially targeted by the operation – were arrested because they were present at the home, said this source.
During the arrests, the police notably discovered a saber, a source close to the investigation said, adding that searches were underway on Sunday.
According to this source, it seems that one or multiple churches in Montpellier was likely the main target in the plot.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin argued that “the terrorist threat” in France was “extremely strong,” recalling his instructions for increased vigilance during Easter weekend.
“I do not know yet if it is a foiled attack but serious threats were consistent and it is with good reason that the DGSI (…) intervened,” he added.
The weekly also indicated, citing a local source, that these women “were known to be radicalized and, concerning some of them, to have viewed videos” of the Islamic State group.
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