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Suspect faces charges for planning 'imminent' attack in Paris

AFP

The main suspect in a foiled attack plot in Paris has been placed under formal investigation, the Paris prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the French national is suspected of planning an "imminent" attack.

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Reda Kriket, 34, was arrested near Paris last week and found to have assault rifles and homemade explosives at his home.

Prosecutor François Molins said at a press conference on Wednesday that the “weapons and the explosive devices, some of them primed for use, as well as brand new telephones and stolen passports” found in the raided apartment proved that Kriket was preparing an “imminent” attack.

“At this stage in the investigation, even if we don’t know what his target was, the discovery of the arms cache means we have prevented an act of extreme violence,” Molins told reporters.

Kriket's detention came just four months after the jihadist carnage that claimed 130 lives in Paris, and investigators said another major attack had been in an "advanced stage" of planning.

Two other suspects who have been charged over the foiled attack plot are in custody in Belgium, which is reeling from the March 22 suicide attacks on its airport and metro system.

Another suspect was arrested in Rotterdam on Sunday. Dutch police also found ammunition at his home.

Kriket – who is linked to the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud – was found guilty in absentia in Brussels in July of being part of a jihadist recruitment network and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Investigations showed Kriket played a key role in financing the network with money from robberies and stolen goods.

Among those who went to Syria through the network were Abaaoud and another Paris attacker, Chakib Akrouh.

Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin, was a notorious jihadist who had appeared in grisly Islamic State group videos and was behind several failed attack plots in Europe.

On November 13 he formed part of the 10-man team of gunmen and suicide bombers that launched a series of attacks across Paris.

He was killed five days later in a police raid outside Paris during which Akrouh blew himself up, also killing Abaaoud's female cousin.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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