French police have arrested ten far-right militants across the country suspected of plotting to attack multiple Muslim targets which they allegedly considered to be related to radical Islamic extremists.
The ten men are said to be part of the far-right Action des Forces Opérationnelles (AFO) and were arrested in Cher, Haute-Vienne, Charente-Maritime, and Paris, including two men who were detained in Corsica, Le Parisien reports.
The far-right suspects were aged 32 to 69, including their alleged leader, a 65-year-old retired police officer from Charente-Maritime named Guy S.
According to Le Parisien, the 65-year-old had “reactivated” the group which had been dormant for years and that had previously been operating underground in order to combat targets they considered to be part of the radical Islamic scene.
The targets for the far-right extremist AFO varied from known radical Islamic imams to former prison inmates who had been radicalised and even women who wear the Islamic veil.
During a search of the property of one of the extremists, police discovered handmade grenades and other explosives.
The investigation into the AFO began last April when the French domestic intelligence service, the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), discovered members of the group were making their own hand grenades and were undergoing weapons training.
French Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb praised the work of the intelligence agency, which helped coordinate the arrests, saying: “I salute the constant commitment of the DGSI, which watches over every day the protection of the French against any violent action, wherever it comes from.”
The arrests come after a similar case in the UK in which members of the banned neo-Nazi far-right group National Action were accused of plotting to kill a Labour MP. Earlier this month, Jack Renshaw, 23, admitted to buying a machete with the intention of assassinating Labour MP Rosie Cooper in 2017.
Police Uncover Antifa-linked Hoard of Chemicals, High-Explosives, Mobile Bomb Factory in Germany https://t.co/phbUi9vSHO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 17, 2018
As far-right plots have risen, so too have far-left extremist plots and violence. Earlier this year, a German man linked to the Antifa movement, along with local far-left political parties, was found with what was described as a mobile bomb factory along with a large supply of chemicals.
Antifa militants in Germany also released a handbook ahead of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) conference in Augsburg later this month.
The terror manual for “riot tourists” encouraged activists to destroy property and attack the conference, giving detailed instructions on how to make weapons and linking to a website which linked to another manual showing members how to make remote-detonated bombs.