· The 23-year-old suspect appeared to be acting alone.
The French authorities say a man has been arrested for plotting a possible attack on President Emmanuel Macron or minority groups.
Paris prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said that the 23-year-old suspect’s plans were vague and not yet finalised, and that he appeared to be acting alone.
She said the man was arrested in the Argenteuil suburb, and told police of a possible plan to attack Macron as he took the salute on Bastille Day on July 14 and expressed nationalist views. The man was given preliminary charges Saturday of individual terrorist activity.
Three kitchen knives were found in his vehicle and analysis of his computer found that he had conducted internet searches on potential targets. The plot has been compared to Frederick Forsyth’s novel “The Day of the Jackal” about an attempt by an assassin, hired by a far-right terrorist group, on the life of President Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s.
Prosecuting sources told the RMC radio station that the man was “psychologically disturbed but determined”.
Macron will oversee a military parade in Paris on Bastille Day alongside President Donald Trump. Macron then heads to Nice to mark the anniversary of the Islamic extremist truck attack that killed 86 people in the southeastern city.
According to AFP, a source close to the investigation said he also wanted to attack “Muslims, Jews, blacks, homosexuals.”
The suspected was already known to police. He was convicted for condoning terrorism in 2016 and sentenced to three years in prison, of which 18 months were suspended.
President Macron, who became president in May aged only 39, has already received a number of death threats. He had applauded the neo-Nazi mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in 2011 in Norway.