Man who hated ‘spread of Islam’ nabbed weeks before planned terror attack on Euro 2016

uni1465228450{BNN / KYIV, Ukraine} – Days before the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship is poised to kick off in France, Ukraine has made a shocking revelation claiming that the country’s security service has thwarted at least 15 planned terrorist attacks targeting the event.

The announcement has come in the light of several countries warning their citizens to adhere to safety while traveling to France as intelligence units across the world have said that events attracting massive crowds would be prone to terror attacks.

In a press conference on June 6, Ukraine’s intelligence agency SBU revealed that they had arrested a Frenchman who was plotting to attack the championship in France.

SBU said in its statement that it led a six-month special operation and recently arrested a man who was a member of a French terrorist group while he tried to cross Ukraine into the European Union.

SBU also revealed that the man had five Kalashnikov rifles, more than 5,000 bullets, two grenade launchers, 125 kilograms of TNT, and 20 balaclavas.

Speaking on national television, Vasyl Hrytsak, the security agency’s chief said, “The Ukrainian Security Service has managed to foil a series of 15 terrorist attacks which were planned to target France before and during the European football championships. The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government’s migration policies, the spread of Islam and globalisation. He also said he wanted to commit a series of terrorist attacks as a sign of protest.”

SBU specified that they had been tracking the man’s moves since December – allowing him to buy five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons. SBU then arrested him on the border between Ukraine and Poland at a customs checkpoint in Yahodyn in May.

SBU also revealed that the man had planned attacks on bridges, railways and other key instalments and infrastructure related to Euro 2016 across Paris and eight other cities that will host the games over a period of one month.

With over 2.5 million football fans expected to attend the game, reports have said that Islamic State (ISIS) militant group has already warned of an attack on France during the tournament – but authorities have so far not confirmed any dangers.

Revealing more information, French newspaper L’Est republicain identified the man as Gregoire Moutaux. SBU also said that the man had been “trying to establish ties with Ukrainian troops under the guise of volunteering” during his stay in eastern Ukraine in 2015.

The story first appeared in a French television channel, M6 and SBU now said, “We didn’t plan to publish this information, but since it appeared in the foreign media, we decided to reveal more of it.”

SBU also added in its statement that the man will be charged for smuggling, preparing terrorist attacks, and illegally obtaining weapons.

France recently extended a state of emergency across the country until the end of the tournament amidst fears of an attack and also deployed elite special forces in case of any untoward incident.

French President Francois Hollande released a statement on June 5 claimed that the threat of extremism won’t stop the European Championships from being successful.

Hollande told France Inter radio that a 90,000-strong security force has been deployed across ten French cities during the championship events.

(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 17225 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.