Paris: Suspects in explosives lab discovery linked to Syria

French investigators say three suspects linked to an explosives lab found in an apartment in Paris had contacts in Syria.

Ben Ariel ,


French investigators believe that three suspects linked to an explosives lab found in an apartment in a Paris suburb had talked about wanting to target a bank and had made phone calls to unidentified contacts in Syria, authorities said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Two of the suspects were detained Wednesday, after authorities discovered the homemade explosives in an unoccupied apartment in the town of Villejuif. The third suspect was arrested on Thursday.

The Paris prosecutor's office said the men are between 36 and 47 years old but provided no further information.

The explosive that was discovered in the apartment is TATP, a peroxide-based explosive, which has been used by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.

A judicial official said on Thursday that more products that can be used to make explosives were found in a lock-up garage rented by one of the three suspects detained in the case. A police official confirmed the new discovery that was made in Thiais, a suburban city close to Villejuif.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said a counterterrorism investigation was opened under potential charges of "criminal terrorist association" and production, possession and transportation of explosive substances "in relation with a terrorist action by an organized gang."

France remains under a state of emergency which has been in place since ISIS terrorists carried out an attack in Paris in November 2015, leaving 130 people dead.

Since that attack and last year’s truck attack in Nice that killed 86, France has suffered a string of smaller assaults mainly targeting security forces.

Last month, a man armed with a knife attempted to enter the Eiffel Tower and attack a soldier while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

In late April, a terrorist murdered a police officer in an attack at the Champs Elysees in the French capital. The attack was later claimed by ISIS.

In February, a knife-wielding terrorist attacked French soldiers at the Louvre.