Paris Olympics attack planned by Islamist group thwarted by French police

On Friday, officials in France announced the arrest of a teenager who is suspected of planning an “Islamist-style” attack on a soccer stadium during the 2024 Paris Olympics. The police took the teenager into custody, believing that they were plotting a terrorist attack.

The authorities have revealed that an 18-year-old Chechan national had intentions of targeting the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in St. Etienne, the venue for soccer matches during the summer Olympics.

According to Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, the suspect was motivated by the Islamist ideology and had a desire to die and become a martyr.

Darmanin expressed his gratitude to intelligence officials, acknowledging their unwavering dedication and remarkable effectiveness in combatting terrorism and safeguarding our nation.

According to him, this marks a significant milestone as it is the first thwarted attack targeting the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Moreover, it is worth noting that this incident is the 50th terrorist plot that French intelligence has successfully dismantled since 2017.

While in police custody, the unnamed suspect denied planning the attack. However, he did admit to engaging in “exchanges” and “conversations” on encrypted messaging apps with known Islamist groups.

The suspect has been residing in France since he arrived with his family in 2023. Prior to his arrest, law enforcement and judicial authorities had no prior knowledge of him.

On May 22, law enforcement apprehended the suspect at his residence in St. Etienne. Subsequently, on May 26, he was formally charged with associating with a criminal group with the intention of planning crimes against individuals.

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The Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium is gearing up to host a number of thrilling soccer matches, featuring powerhouse teams like France, Canada, the United States, and Guinea. Fans can look forward to witnessing exhilarating clashes between these top-notch squads at this renowned venue.

Morocco has a scheduled match against Argentina and Ukraine in St. Etienne. Meanwhile, Canada is set to face off against New Zealand and Germany will be taking on Zambia.

France remains on high alert following a series of Islamist attacks in recent years.

In April, Darmanin announced plans to establish an “anti-terrorist” zone along the Seine River, just one week prior to the commencement of the opening ceremony. The river will serve as a route for over 10,000 athletes, who will navigate its waters in front of an estimated crowd of 300,000 individuals. This groundbreaking event marks the first time in Olympic history that a ceremony will take place outside of a traditional stadium setting.

The government is set to mobilize approximately 20,000 soldiers and more than 40,000 police officers to ensure the safety and security of the games, scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.

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