Threats of Attack on Macron: Four Supporters of the Ultra-Right in Justice
POOL / AFP / File

They had evoked a plan of attack against President Macron, against the backdrop of his 11 November November commemoration tour: four sympathizers of the ultra-right arrested Tuesday in the Moselle will be presented Saturday to an anti-terrorist judge for their indictment.

Emmanuel Macron finishes this weekend in Paris a week of memory journey on the high places of the First World War in France. Under high security, the end-of-conflict Centennial ceremonies are held in the presence of some 70 heads of state and government.

Heard in custody since Tuesday, the four sympathizers of the ultradroite, aged 22 to 62, will be presented to a judge in connection with the opening by the Paris prosecutor's office of a judicial inquiry, for "association criminals criminal terrorist” and breaches of arms law in relation to a terrorist enterprise.

The prosecutor's office requested their detention on remand.

They are among the six suspects targeted Tuesday by a counter-terrorism cordon of the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI), the third in eighteen months for the movement of the ultra-right. In the operation, the investigators had their hands on firearms.

Two of the suspects, a man arrested in Ille-et-Vilaine and a 61-year-old woman arrested in a small village in the Isere, saw their custody lifted Thursday and Friday.

All are described as "supporters of the ultra-friendly", "survivalist trend", and followed by intelligence services, according to a source close to the record.

In telephone exchanges, members of this small group had mentioned projects, including that of attacking the president, according to this source. A project of "violent action", "imprecise and poorly defined at this stage", indicated Tuesday a source close to the investigation.

"The project of attack does not seem successful," she explained, "but we still find the background of the commemorations of 11-November."

The threats were considered serious enough to trigger the October 31 opening of a preliminary investigation by the prosecutor's office that led to Tuesday's operation.

A suspicious move

The investigators decided to intervene on hearing that one of the suspects, Jean-Pierre B., residing in Isère (south-east), had moved "in the east” from France, while Emmanuel Macron was there for the commemorations, according to the source close to the file. Arrested in Moselle, Jean-Pierre B. was in particular in possession of a dagger.

Media portrays him as the alleged leader of the group. Aged 62, this former wooden merchant is described as close to small identity groups called "FFU” (unified French forces) and "Les Barjols". He himself animated the Facebook page of "Barjols” for the department of Isère, according to Franceinfo and Le Parisien.

Since 2017, counterterrorism services have already conducted at least two more anti-terrorist rounds targeting ultra-poor groups.

In October 2017, they had dismantled a small group, the "" OAS” led by a young inhabitant of Vitrolles (Bouches-du-Rhône) and former militant of the royalist organization French Action, Logan Nisin. The group had a time to attack the leader of insubordinate France Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the former mayor of Forcalquier (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) became Minister Christophe Castaner.

More recently, another group, Action des forces operational (AFO), was targeted last June by an operation of the DGSI. This group, which displays its ambition to fight "against the Islamist peril," had raised plans to attack Islamists out of prison or radical mosques.

For the intelligence services, the French ultra-French is carried by small groups competitors, welded by a virulent anti-Maghreb racism, but who act in a dispersed order and have "limited" operational capabilities, according to a note of the DGSI.

10/11/2018 13:18:33 –
Paris (AFP) –
© 2018 AFP


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