FRENCH security agents have arrested six people on preliminary terrorism charges for allegedly plotting to attack French President Emmanuel Macron, according to a French judicial official.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the allegations, said intelligence agents detained the six in three widely scattered regions, including one suspect in the Alps, another in Brittany and four suspects near the Belgian border in Moselle.
He said the plan to target the French president appeared to be vague and unfinalised but violent.
Authorities said the six were between 22 and 62 years old and included one woman. The six suspects are linked to the far right and were picked up by anti-terrorism units in the eastern French regions of Moselle and Isere and the northern region of Ile-et-Vilaine, officials added.
“This investigation is looking into a plot, vague and ill-defined at this stage, involving violent action against the president of the republic,” another official said.
In July 2017, a 23-year-old far-right extremist was charged with plotting to assassinate Macron at France’s Bastille Day military parade which the French leader attended with US President Donald Trump.
The man, arrested at home, told investigators he wanted to kill Macron at the July 14 national day parade in Paris, along with “Muslims, Jews, blacks and homosexuals.”
Three kitchen knives were found in his car and analysis of his computer found that he had conducted internet searches as part of his plot.
Mr Macron was in the northeastern French city of Verdun on Tuesday as part of centenary commemorations for the end of World War I.
The suspected plot was uncovered days before US President Donald Trump and dozens of other world leaders are due in France for commemorations this weekend of the signing 100 years ago of the Nov. 11 armistice that ended World War I.
Originally published as Suspects held in Macron ‘violence’ plot