Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Car packed with explosive gas cylinders is found outside Paris's Notre Dame cathedral as police arrest 'radicalised' vehicle owner

  • Seven gas cylinders found in car close to Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
  • The vehicle was found with its hazard lights on last Saturday night
  • Car's owner, now in custody, is on watchlist of suspected religious radicals
The 'radicalised' owner of a car found packed with gas cylinders close to Notre Dame cathedral has been arrested, police have revealed. 
The vehicle, a Peugeot 607 without a licence plate, was found with its hazard lights flashing close to the landmark building in the heart of the French capital.
Documents with writing in Arabic were also found in the car. 
Police say the car's owner, who is now in custody, is on an intelligence services watchlist of people suspected of religious radicalisation. 
One of the seven canisters inside was empty when police found the abandoned vehicle parked on a Seine riverside stretch called the Quai de Montebello in the fifth arrondissement of Paris last Saturday night.
A police official revealed today: 'We think he may have been trying to carry out a test-run.' 
The cylinders were not thought to have been connected to detonator.
There are reports in France that two people have been arrested. The car's owner and an associate, both known to police, were arrested on Tuesday, police said, and anti-terror prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation.
The mysterious car had no number plate, but investigators have spent the past four days raiding the homes of anybody who might be linked to it.
Six people were originally arrested, and two remain in custody, including a woman who is on a security watchlist.
ISIS has threatened Notre Dame as part of its violent campaign against France for sending warplanes to bomb countries including Syria.
In May, Patrick Calvar, the head of France's DGSI internal security agency, said he was confident Isis would 'reach the stage of car bombs'. 
More than 200 people have been killed in terror atrocities over the past year-and-a-half in France.
In July, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, thought to have links with ISIS, killed 84 and injured scores more when he drove a lorry through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.
A month earlier, police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his wife were stabbed to death inside their home near Paris by a man who claimed to have pledged allegiance to ISIS.
And the French capital is still reeling from a wave of attacks on November 13 in which jihadists killed 130 at bars and restaurants, a music hall and outside the Stade de France.  

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