News & Politics

French Authorities Arrest 15-Year-Old Planning 'Imminent' Attack on Paris

A 15-year-old French boy has been arrested, suspected of planning an imminent “violent action” in Paris on behalf of the Islamic State, according to two sources.

Last Sunday, a car loaded with gas cylinders was found near Notre Dame cathedral and jerry cans of diesel, leading to the discovery of a plot to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of Islamic State. Seven people, including four women, were arrested.

According to the two anonymous sources, the boy had been under house arrest since France had declared a state of emergency after the November 13 attacks. The sources did not know why the boy was put under house arrest.

Once source said the boy was planning to attack a public place in Paris. Another said the boy was in contact with suspected French Islamist militant Rashid Kassim and that Kassim was also instructing one of the women arrested last week in a plan to attack a Paris train station. Kassim was using the messenger service Telegram to instigate more attacks on France. He is believed to be located in Syria.

“Women, sisters, go on, attack. Where are the brothers?…She brandished a knife and she hit a policeman…Where are the men?” Le Monde quoted a message of Kassim on Telegram. The message referred to one of the women planing the railway attack who stabbed a police officer when she was being arrested.

Another source identified Kassim as inspiring the attack and murder of a Catholic priest in a French church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in July. One of those attackers was also under house arrest when the attack was carried out.