Sunday, 11 August 2013

Because, according to investigators, he was planning to fire on a mosque, a 23-year-old soldier "close to the ideas of the radical far right" was arrested on an air base close to Lyon, announced the Minister of the Interior on Monday.

After four days of detention in the premises of the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI) [domestic intelligence agency], the young man, a sergeant in the air force, was held under suspicion of "possessing grade four weapons in connection with a terrorist enterprise" and "causing damage to a place of worship in connection with a terrorist enterprise". He was placed in provision detention, reports a judicial source.

The Minister of the Interior specified that the young man, arrested on the Lyon Mont Verdun air force base, "planned to fire weapons at a mosque in the Lyon region."

According to a judicial source, the suspect admitted to investigators that he had planned to fire on the Minguettes mosque, in Vénissieux, in the suburbs of Lyon, on 8 august, when Ramadan ended.

During his detention which started on 7 August, the suspect also admitted having thrown a Molotov cocktail at the door of the mosque in Libourne (Gironde), which did little damage and caused no injuries.

Firefighters, whose station is located just opposite the mosque, intervened rapidly and extinguished the flames with a simple extinguisher.

According to the same source close to the investigation, the young man, solitary and psychologically fragile, was in a difficult period of his life due to relationship problems. It was relatives who reported him to the authorities after finding documents in his possession and fearing a drift towards extremism.

The young man is said to have tried three times, unsuccessfully, to make contact with
Maxime Brunerie, the young far-right militant who, on 14 July 2002, tried to assassinate President Jacques Chirac during a march on the Champs Élysées.

He is also said to have been deeply affected by the suicide, on 21 May in front of Notre Dame, of the far-right historian Dominique Venner whose work he admired, specified the same source.
Source: L'Express

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