First published: February 10, 2017, 7:49 PM IST | Updated: 10 mins ago
File image of a police officer (Reuters)
Paris: An “imminent” terror attack on the French soil has been averted with the arrest of four suspects in a southern French city on Friday, Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said.
The counter-terror operation on the outskirts of Montpellier during the early hours of Friday morning led to the detention of a 16-year-old female and three men with bomb-making materials, Efe news reported.
The police said it discovered 70 grams of acetone peroxide (TATP) and other chemical solutions — which can be combined to manufacture improvised explosives — in a property belonging to the 21-year-old male detainee.
His girlfriend, the 16-year-old, had previously expressed her desire to travel to Syria, the police said.
The French media reported that she had filmed herself pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
The other detainees included a 33-year-old man known for his religious extremism and a 26-year-old whose role in the group was as yet unknown.
The police operation came a week after the attempted machete attack on a French soldier on patrol at the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris.
That extremist assailant, an Egyptian resident of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was shot and apprehended by security forces.