Man arrested for allegedly plotting 'violent action' during Olympic torch ceremony, official says

A man allegedly planning "violent action" during the Olympics torch rally has been arrested in France, the country's interior minister said.

Local reports said the man, 26, was allegedly planning a mass killing on Thursday when the Paris 2024 flame passed through Bordeaux.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on X a man had been arrested for the plot "during the passage of the Olympic torch relay".

He thanked police and ministry agents "who secured this popular festival with remarkable professionalism and commitment".

Bordeaux prosecutor Frederique Porterie said, however, that while the detained suspect "admitted to having considered committing an act" after he was attacked in a separate incident, "no reference to the Olympic flame was mentioned".

She also noted that people close to the suspect said "he is very psychologically fragile," but added: "The appointed psychiatric expert did not reveal any particular disorder."

Incel sympathiser

Ms Porterie identified the man with his first name and an initial, Alex G, said he lives in the Bordeaux region, and noted he had no criminal record.

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She also said the suspect was found to sympathise with the incel - or "involuntarily celibate" - movement, which is a misogynistic online subculture.

The prosecutor added Alex was detained over "a worrying message" that referenced American incel and mass shooter Elliot Rodger.

Rodger killed six University of California students and himself on 23 May 2014. He remains prevalent in incel communities online for his videos and manifesto.

France previously raised its security alert to its highest level amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and continuing conflict in the Middle East.

President Emmanuel Macron said last month the Olympic opening ceremony could be scaled down if the security threat is too high.

A 16-year-old boy was also arrested in April after allegedly posting on social media that he wanted to "die a martyr" and planned to create an explosive belt to use at the Olympics.