France arrests terror suspect after he apparently shot himself by accident – Fox News
A suspect Islamic terrorist’s plans to mount attacks on French churches were thwarted when he accidentally shot himself and called an ambulance, leading to the discovery of loaded guns, bulletproof vests and chilling notes about his intended targets, authorities said Wednesday.
French police believe the 24-year-old Algerian native was planning an imminent attack Sunday on one or more French churches in Paris when he shot himself, France’s top security official announced Wednesday. The suspect, who was not named, is a computer science student who was flagged as a risk by security officials last year, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He is also accused in the death of a young mother.
Sources told AFP that the suspect was found with a bullet it his leg and said he was wounded in some sort of dispute. Police who arrived at the scene found a blood trail leading to his car, with loaded guns, bulletproof vests and notes about potential targets inside.
“Detailed documents that were also found established beyond doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, probably on one or two churches.”
- French interior minister
Inside the car, authorities discovered flashing blue lights that can fix magnetically to car roofs and orange “Police” armbands used by French plainclothes officers, RTL radio reports, according to France 24.
“Detailed documents that were also found established beyond doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, probably on one or two churches,” Cazeneuve said, according to Reuters.
In the man’s apartment, in southeastern Paris, more weapons were found as well as evidence of ties to Islamic extremism, the official said. There was no immediate evidence that the suspect had direct ties to any organized groups, the official added.
Aurelie Chatelain, a 32-year-old Frenchwoman visiting Paris for a training session for her work, was found shot to death on Sunday morning in her car. The security official said she appeared to have been killed by the suspect at random.
“Our thoughts and sorrow are with her relatives, her family, and her daughter now deprived of her presence,” Cazeneuve said.
Chatelain came to the area from northern France to take a pilates course and had written on Facebook the night before her death how happy she was to be there, AFP reports.
Her body was discovered by passersby as smoke poured out of her car from an overheating laptop.
Cazeneuve said the suspect had previously come to the attention of French authorities as possibly wanting to travel to Syria, Reuters reports.
Police made checks on the suspect in 2014 and this year, but did not find anything to warrant a further investigation.
France has been on edge since the Jan. 7-9 attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket left 20 people dead, including the three gunmen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.