Attacks on French synagogues, mosques thwarted

Ukrainian authorities arrest French ultra-nationalist who had amassed a huge arsenal, planned attacks during Euro 2016.

Ari Soffer, | updated: 13:57

French soldiers guarding a Jewish school
French soldiers guarding a Jewish school

A major terrorist attack on Jewish and Muslim places of worship during an international soccer tournament in France was thwarted Monday.

Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) announced it had arrested an ultra-nationalist Frenchman named as 25-year-old Gregoire M, on Ukraine's border with Poland, according to French Media.

According to SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak the suspect had amassed a huge arsenal of weapons - including rifles, anti-tank weapons, detonators and 125 kg of TNT, and was planning 15 attacks during the Euro 2016 games.

His targets reportedly included synagogues and mosques. He also planned to attack railways, bridges and other strategic targets.

Video footage and pictures released by the SBU showed the moment a blond-haired man was arrested by counter-terrorism police as he entered a white van, as well as pictures of his extensive arsenal.

"The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government's actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalization, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks," Gritsak told a press conference.

The suspect had reportedly been in touch with illegal militias in Ukraine with the aim of building a huge arsenal to use in his one-man terror rampage.