The head of Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) said Monday that a French citizen detained in late May on the Ukrainian-Polish border had planned a string of attacks to coincide with the Euro 2016 championship in France.
SBU chief Vasily Gritsak said the unnamed man had made contact with illegal armed groups in Ukraine with the aim of buying weapons and explosives.
“The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government’s actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalisation, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks,” Gritsak said at a briefing.
Ukrainian authorities said the man had 125 kilos of TNT in his posession at the time of his arrest and was planning attacks on Muslim and Jewish places of worship as well as on bridges, railways and other infrastructure ahead of the Friday start of the Euro 2016 championships in France.
The SBU didn’t identify the man but said he was driven by ultra-nationalist views.
Authorities released photos of a fair-haired man with his face blurred, holding various weapons.
The suspect had been followed since December. The SBU said it allowed him to purchase five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons before arresting him last month.
France is deploying 90,000 security forces for the tournament, and French President François Hollande said Sunday night that the threat of attacks won’t stop it from being a successful championship.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS, Mail Online)