A French former prisoner who had converted to Islam while incarcerated was arrested after trying to have a sub-machine gun delivered to him by post.
The 30-year-old, who was not identified by name, was arrested last week in the city of Angers in Western France at a local post office while attempting to pick up the firearm that had originally come from the United States, Le Parisien reports.
On Friday, the man was indicted on charges of importing category A weapons, according to public prosecutor Yves Gambert.
Local media also added that the suspect had served a seven-year prison sentence in 2010 for violence with a weapon and targetted a police officer. While in prison, he converted to Islam and was examined by security services in 2016 following the Bataclan massacre in November of 2015.
He also is alleged to have met and had become well acquainted with Islamist David Pagerie who had previously been convicted of consulting Islamist jihadi sites in 2016.
Police Find Rocket Launcher and Other Weapons in French No-Go Zone Suburbhttps://t.co/eGcracQ7ge
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The Islamic State terror group has even been known to have such a presence in some French prisons. They were able to coordinate and plan a terror attack with inmates in the Fresnes prison in 2017 until the plot was foiled by the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) intelligence agency.
Large numbers of military-grade weapons have been found on several occasions by French police over the last several years, many of them during raids against criminal gangs.
In August 2017, police in the Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis found a cache of firearms that included an anti-tank rocket launcher. Officials said they also discovered high-powered explosives, sawn-off shotguns, and police equipment.
Later that year in the regions of Eure-et-Loir, Eure, and Yvelines more police raids found fully automatic rifles and another anti-tank rocket launcher.
“The investigators seized seven weapons of war, including two loaded and ready-to-run M80 rocket launchers capable of destroying a tank, two Kalashnikovs, one Spanish assault rifle, two machine guns,” public prosecutor Rémi Coutin said.