A car containing several gas cylinders found last weekend in the heart of Paris without firing device: a suspicious discovery that triggered, amid threat of attacks, a counter-terrorism investigation and the arrest of two people .
The two suspects were in custody today, do we learned from police sources close to the investigation. This is the car owner and a member of his entourage, identified and arrested Tuesday. They are both known to intelligence services, according to a police source. The case is taken seriously given the context, and investigations are continuing as part of a preliminary investigation by the terrorism prosecutor for criminal association terrorist criminals.
The anti-terrorist section (SAT) of the Criminal Division and the Directorate General of Internal Security (RPS) were seized Sunday after the testimony of a bar worker who noticed the presence of a gas cylinder on a seat of a car, hazard lights and without license plates, police said.
This bottle was empty. But the police found in the trunk of five full gas bottles, said a source close to the investigation. Inside, investigators have found however no ignition system. The car was parked in a street in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, not far from quai de Montebello in front of the Notre-Dame de Paris, according to a police source. In a letter sent yesterday to the police prefect of Paris Michel Cadot, which AFP has been copied, Florence Berthout, LR borough mayor, also evokes “a book of notes in Arabic” discovered in the car which has been “parked illegally for more than two hours and, despite several telephone reports sent by a trader to the police.” She denounced in his letter the “lack of manpower” police plaguing his district frequented by “thousands of tourists and students (…) every day.”
The spectrum of car bombs
France is facing a high threat of terrorism after a succession of jihadist attacks mostly claimed by the Islamic State group (EI) since early 2015, and other projects aborted or foiled. “It’s part of this vigilance, paying attention to everything that was conducted this arrest,” said Bernard Cazeneuve at the exit of ministers at Matignon. According to the interior minister, “this arrest does not give the result of the investigation, or disclose for now the intentions of those who were arrested.”
Before the commission of national Defence and armed Forces of the national Assembly on May 10, the head of the ISB Calvar Patrick had mentioned the risk of “a new form of attack” with “the deposit of explosives” in places gathering a large crowd. Before the parliamentary commission investigating the attacks, he also said “confident” that the jihadists “will rise in power” passing stage “of car bombs and explosive devices”. “Once they have projected in our territory for bomb, they can avoid sacrificing their fighters while creating maximum damage,” he said feared.