Ukrainian Officials Arrest Man Who Reportedly Planned Attacks on Euro 2016
On Monday, Ukrainian officials revealed they had detained a Frenchman with an arsenal of weapons attempting to leave the country with the intent of launching an attack on the European Championship soccer tournament.
According to The Associated Press, authorities in the Ukraine had been investigating the man since December, allowing him to buy “five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 275 pounds of TNT, 100 detonators and other arms.”
The Ukrainian Security Service arrested the man as he attempted to cross at the Yahodyn border between Ukraine and Poland. The man was part of a larger plan, which included a series of 15 terrorist attacks before and during the soccer tournament.
Investigators revealed that the man held a grudge against his government due to “immigration policies and the spread of Islam,” and he had planned attacks on bridges, railways and other infrastructure needed for Euro 2016.
“Just because you have stopped one group does not mean there's not another one elsewhere,” French antiterrorist judge David Benichou told The AP. “The security forces are largely focused on a menace that is known, is evident, that doesn't hide and that has threatened us specifically. But we cannot neglect the other potential sources of terrorism, like the extreme right.”
Officials in Paris were made aware of the arrest, but they said no formal investigation has been opened and no further details were available. France is adding security—a 90,000-strong security force—in order to thwart potential terrorist attacks from groups like ISIS, which have threatened to attack the soccer tournament that begins on July 10.
French officials have changed the way security is handled for major events since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 which killed 130 victims. The government has added more access points, security checks, bag and ticket controls and random pat-downs.
“Successful counterterrorism is ultimately only measured by the absence of a terrorist incident,” London Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command head Richard Walton said in a statement. “An attack anywhere in France during Euro 2016 is an attack on the event itself.”
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