Le public prosecutor of Paris, François Molins holds a press conference on Friday afternoon, after the arrest last weekend of five men, suspected of having wanted to commit an attack on the 1st of December in the paris region, announced the public prosecutor’s office in a press release. The police custody of the suspects, heard since Sunday by investigators of the Directorate-general of internal security (ISB), have been extended on Thursday, on an exceptional basis, beyond 96 hours.
Four French citizens, aged 35 to 37 years of age and unknown services to counter terrorism, had been arrested at Strasbourg. Two of them are suspected of having stayed in Syria in 2015.
The fifth man in custody, Hicham E., Moroccan 46-year-old arrested in Marseille, was reported to radicalization by the intelligence services of Portugal, a country where he resided, after several trips suspects in Europe. The cell had planned to pass the act on the 1st of December, according to a source close to the investigation.
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13: 02. A USB drive found at the home of Yassin B., has confirmed the threat. The information contained in this USB key, for example, is mention of “a sum of money, of GPS coordinates and a means to procure arms and money,” said the prosecutor. In addition, the suspect arrested in Marseille, was 4281 euros in cash on him.
12h59. No specific target, but an attack is imminent. “The farms techniques carried out on items seized during raids in Strasbourg have established that an action was considered by the strasbourg project group on the 1st of December,” confirmed the prosecutor, “without being able however to determine at this stage the specific target chosen from among all those that the group intends to”, he added, referring to their “willingness to find and identify targets for action in the very short term.”
12h46. Three of the suspects had “intentions from join Daech in Syria”. Two of the supects arrested in Strasbourg, Hicham M. and Yassine B. travelled in march 2015 at the Turkish-syrian border. Hicham E., the Moroccan 46-year-old arrested in Marseille, had been repressed by Turkey in the summer of 2015. It had already been reported to radicalization by the intelligence services of Portugal, where he resided.
12: 35. The five suspects,“business Daech”, have received instructions common, “by means of applications encrypted” to obtain arms, of a client since the area iraq-syria. In Yassine B, in Strasbourg, a gun “Sig-Sauer”, “glock”, and chargers, and dozens of cartridges. In Hicham M, investigators have put the hand on an automatic pistol, a machine gunner and 60 cartridges. They were waiting for a delivery of weapons. “The criminals were in possession of, or in quest of arms and financing” were preparing to pass the act, confirmed the prosecutor, and “looking for targets”.
12h32. Two of the suspects had downloaded the app Periscope on the evening of their arrest. Yassine B and Hicham M., arrested in Strasbourg, have downloaded the application that allows you to broadcast live video on the evening of the sweep. The searches carried out in Strasbourg have also helped to put the hand on the writings of allegiance to Daech. “In Yassine B, a notebook was found with twelve pages of handwritten inscriptions referring to the jihad and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said the prosecutor. In Hicham M, of the writings of the clear threat against France were also found.
12: 24 pm. The suspects were “long time friends”, says François Molins. As the phones seized have been able to demonstrate, four of the five suspects “were routinely and regularly communicated in a closed network,” he added. The prime suspect is Yassine B, 37 years old, employed as a facilitator in a school, and whose police record was blank. The second, Hicham M., 37 years, of French nationality, handler, has six convictions on his record. Samy B, Franco-Tunisian 36 years old, employee in a grocery store and father of three children, has 7 convictions on his record. Zakaria M., 36 years old, Franco-Moroccan, carried no conviction to her criminal record. Finally, Hicham E, the fifth, has 46 years old, is a Moroccan, whose criminal record is blank, is of no fixed address, said the prosecutor.
12h16. The individuals presented before an investigating judge on Friday. The five suspects have been referred to this afternoon in order to review. “We require the preventive detention of individuals”, said François Molins.
12h09. The prosecutor takes the floor. “The threat on our territory is and remains particularly high,” stated in the preamble François Molins, taking also of note: “the quality of the work of the prosecutor’s office”. In addition, “the anti-terrorist section of my parquet floor opens a judicial inquiry”, for “acquisition, possession, transportation, supply and sale of illegal weapons of category A and B, while meeting with a terrorist enterprise,” added the prosecutor.