French security authorities foil plan to attack football events during Paris Olympics

France's security authorities have foiled a plan to attack soccer events during the Paris Olympics, the country's interior minister said Friday.

Gerald Darmanin said in a statement that members of the General Directorate of Internal Security arrested an 18-year-old man from Chechnya on May 22 on suspicion of being behind a plan to attack soccer events that will be held in the southern city of Saint-Etienne.

According to the initial investigation, the man was preparing an attack targeting the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne that will host several soccer matches during the Summer Games. The planned attack was to target spectators and police forces, the statement said. The suspect wanted to attack the Olympic events “to die and become a martyr," the statement also said.

The Paris Olympics will run from July 26-Aug. 11. Soccer matches will take place in cities across France before the final in Paris’ Stade de France.

France is on high security alert ahead of the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, which are expected to draw millions of visitors to the country.


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