Police in Paris
Police in ParisiStock

French anti-terrorism authorities have arrested a 16-year-old youth who said on social media that he wanted to die “a martyr” at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer, Reuters reported, citing a French spokesperson who confirmed an earlier report by BFMtv.

"He was arrested after he publicly announced on social media that he planned to create an explosive belt to become a martyr," the spokesperson said, adding that an investigation was underway into whether he had genuine intentions to commit a terrorist act.

France, which has been on high alert in the wake of terrorist attacks in recent years, raised its terror alert warning to its highest level last month, following the attack in Moscow which was claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS).

France was hit by a series of Islamist attacks, including the January 2015 attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris.

In November of that year, 130 people were killed in a series of jihadist attacks in Paris claimed by ISIS.

In October of 2020, a man stabbed three people to death at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice. He was later handed terror murder charges.

Last month, Reuters reported that the French government has asked about 45 foreign countries to contribute several thousand extra military, police and civilian personnel to help safeguard the Paris Olympics this summer.