French police
French policeiStock

French prosecutors have charged a 19-year-old man and a youth in the Paris region with planning a "terrorist" attack on Jewish targets, a judicial source told AFP on Friday.

While no details on the pair have been released, French anti-terrorist investigators have expressed increased concern over the young age of some suspects detained in recent months for planning attacks.

The 19-year-old has been charged with "terrorist conspiracy" to commit attacks and the "acquisition and possession of arms for a terrorist enterprise," said the judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The youth aged under 18 was detained on June 13, the source said.

According to the source, the pair made contact on social media and were planning "a violent action notably aiming at Jewish targets."

Incidents of antisemitism have surged in France since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.

This past week, a 12-year-old Jewish girl was raped in a park in the Paris suburbs. Two 13-year-old boys have been charged with rape and making antisemitic insults.

Last month, vandals painted dozens of blood-red hands on the Wall of the Righteous, a memorial for the French citizens who risked their lives to save Jews during the Second World War, at the Mémorial de la Shoah Holocaust museum in Paris.

A recently published report by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that French Jews live in fear of antisemitism, with a majority having directly experienced antisemitism.

According to the 900-page report, 86% of French Jews feel that they live under the threat of antisemitic attacks, and 56% feel that the level of threat is significant. 44% reported that following the Hamas massacre of October 7, they refrain from wearing items that would identify them as Jewish in public, such as kippahs and Stars of David.

Previously, CRIF, the umbrella organization of the Jewish organizations in France, published a report which found that antisemitism in France has increased by 1,000% since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.