Details about a recently foiled terror attack are now coming to light as French authorities have revealed that jihadists planned to lay siege to Élysée Palace, among other targets, at the start of Ramadan, local media reports.
Four suspects were apprehended in Paris on Friday and charged with "criminal and terrorist criminal conspiracy," but little information was made public at the time.
"Four people are being held over a plan to carry out an extremely violent terror attack,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters. “We had sufficient evidence to lead us to believe that a major attack was being planned.”
Le Parisien is now reporting that the suspects, including a 17-year-old who had already been convicted of attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS, are jihadists whose plans are described as being in an "advanced stage."
The men had already scouted their potential targets, which included a police station in Seine-Saint-Denis and the Élysée Palace, the official residence of President Emmanuel Macron.
"In police custody, they did not hide their adherence to radical Islam," Le Parisien reports. "The group, which traded on encrypted couriers and claimed to be Daesh [Islamic State], had collected 1200 euros to acquire a Kalashnikov assault rifle.”
"A reference to the act coming at the beginning of Ramadan this weekend was mentioned, precipitating the surge of the investigators of the DGSI."
Interestingly, the eldest alleged conspirator, identified as Alexandre B., 39, was reportedly an official at the Paris mayor's office.
"I do not care about shooting cops," said one of the suspects while in custody.
Islamic terrorism has been on the rise in France in recent years, with more than 250 people killed since 2015.
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(PHOTO: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)