Syrian Refugee Arrested in French Anti-Terror Operation

REUTERS/Charles Platiau
REUTERS/Charles Platiau

A Syrian granted refugee status was among the seven individuals arrested in the French city of Brest on allegations the group was plotting radical Islamic terror attacks.

The Syrian is said to be in his 30s and arrived in France during the height of the European migrant crisis in 2015 using a Palestinian passport. He was granted refugee status after just a few months in the country, Ouest France reports.

Sources close to the investigation have claimed that the refugee may also have links to, or have been an active member of, the Islamic State, and was the leader of a terror cell which investigators say may have been plotting attacks.

Others arrested include a 16-year-old high school pupil and a manager of a local halal butcher in Brest, who is said to have been arrested previously after the Bataclan massacre in 2015 when he mimicked the action of shooting a gun at local police officers.

The halal butcher manager, who is in his 30s, was fined 15,000 euros and given a three year suspended prison sentence for his actions, which were considered an apology for terrorism — a crime in France. He, along with several other members of the cell, was also on the French terror watchlist known as the S-File.

Secretary of State for the Interior Laurent Nuñez commented on the case soon after the arrests occurred, stating that 60 attacks have been foiled by French security services since the end of 2013 and that this case would be the 61st if the allegations prove correct.

Syrian asylum seekers have been involved in several foiled terror plots in recent years including a recent case in Belgium earlier this month.

In late 2018, Dutch police arrested four men, including a Syrian national, who allegedly were plotting a terror attack on New Year’s Eve.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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