French security services foil ‘Islamist-inspired’ attack on Olympic football match


French security services have arrested a teenager suspected of planning an “Islamist-inspired” attack on a football match during this summer’s Olympics, according to the nation’s interior ministry.

The General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) apprehended the 18-year-old in Saint-Etienne. The ministry described it as the “first foiled attack” against the Paris Olympic and Paralympic games this summer.

A statement said that the Chechen national “was actively planning to attack the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne during the football matches to be held there as part of the Olympic Games that France will be hosting,” adding that “he would have liked to attack spectators, but also the police, and die as a martyr.”

The French interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, thanked the intelligence services for demonstrating “their full commitment and effectiveness in the fight against terrorism.”

France has been making attempts to step up security levels ahead of the Olympics.

In April, Darmanin outlined that an “anti-terrorist” perimeter would be set up around the Seine river one week before the opening ceremony. It will be several square miles in size and closed to traffic unless authorised, while 15 metro and tram stations will be shut. Only four bridges will stay open.

The Paris Olympics will run from July 26 to August 11. Football matches will be hosted in cities across France, with the final held at Paris’ Stade de France on August 10.

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(Chesnot/Getty Images)



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