Five far-left anarchist extremists have been arrested, accused of plotting to attack a hotel used as a temporary barracks for police officers during the forthcoming G7 summit in Biarritz.
The five individuals, four men and one woman aged 24 to 45, were taken into custody on Monday and are all known members of the far-left anarchist movement and were found discussing the location of the police hotel on social media by intelligence services, BFMTV reports.
Exact details on the nature of the attack on the hotel remain unclear but all five were taken into custody on charges of “criminal conspiracy to commit an offence and destroy property” but only one of the individuals arrested was kept in custody as of Tuesday, with the other four being released.
According to broadcaster France24, the far-left extremists may have been plotting to burn down the hotel containing the police officers and claimed that a source said that one of those arrested had a prior history of violence during demonstrations.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner commented on the security precautions ahead of the summit stating that 13,200 police and gendarmes would be deployed to keep the event secure.
France Deports German Suspected Far-Left Extremist Ahead of G7 Summit https://t.co/Hu98pJPbY1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 17, 2019
“The aim is to have maximum security with a minimum of disruption. We will not tolerate any unrest. If it happens, we will respond,” Castaner said and went on to address the arrests of the far-left extremists stating, “We are particularly attentive to spreading threats to the security of the G7 on social networks.”
Several far-left activist groups have announced demonstrations during the event, including a large protest in the town of Hendaye on Saturday, the same day as the start of the summit.
The arrests come as police were concerned over the prison release of French Antifa leader Antonin Bernanos ahead of the G7, stating that he could organise and motivate large numbers of Antifa extremists.
French authorities also deported a German far-left activist last week who was believed to have been involved at the large-scale violence during the G20 in Hamburg in 2017.