Three terrorists who were suspected of planning an attack around the anniversary of last year’s terrorist attacks in Toulouse were arrested in southern France last week, it was reported Monday.
French prosecutors said that police found weapons and explosives in one suspect’s home in a town near Marseille. Police also intercepted communications between the men, suggesting they were planning on going into action.
The arrest of the suspects comes as the Jewish community in Toulouse marks the first anniversary of the terror attack carried out by Mohamed Merah, who killed three Jewish children and a rabbi.
Merah murdered Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel and Miriam Monsonego at the Otzar HaTorah school in Toulouse. Before that, he murdered three Muslim paratroopers of North African heritage. Merah was ultimately killed when he tried to flee a police raid on his apartment.
“It was clear they were training themselves in making explosives based on a jihadist radicalization, a glorification of Mohamed Merah, and an affirmed desire to go into action,” a French prosecutor said Monday.
On Sunday, President Shimon Peres attended memorial events in France to mark one year since the terrorist attacks in Toulouse.
Peres met with the heads of the Jewish community of France and with a delegation of Imams including and heads of central mosques.
France has seen a surge of 45% in the number of anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, since the Toulouse terror attack.
French police several weeks ago arrested two men in Toulouse in connection with Merah's killing spree.
The pair, aged 23 and 20, were being held in detention and questioned over their links to the self-proclaimed, Al-Qaeda inspired shooter. They are suspected of providing "logistical help" to Merah.