French officials indicted seven far-left Antifa anarchist extremists in Paris for forming a criminal terrorist organisation, after security services foiled an alleged plot to commit violence against police and soldiers.
The seven ultra-left extremists, six men and one woman, are aged between 30 and 36. Five have been kept in custody while two others were released under judicial supervision.
The domestic French security service, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), dismantled the network, with arrests taking place in Toulouse, Cubjac, Vitry-sur-Seine, and Rennes last week, Le Parisien reports.
Far-Left Antifa Militants in Syria Vow to Fight French State Following Evictions of Anarchist Groups https://t.co/JuaHU24xvS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 26, 2018
While conducting searches of properties tied to the suspects, investigators found hunting rifles, ammunition, and several substances used to make explosive devices.
The members of the far-left group are also said to have trained on private land in some form of weapons tactics, using an airsoft club as a cover.
The leader of the group, 36-year-old Florian D., is also said to have travelled to northeastern Syria where he fought with the Kurdish YPG forces during their clashes with Islamic State in Rojava.
In April 2018, a group of French Antifa militants in Afrin, who were fighting Turkish forces, vowed to return to France and fight the French state after President Emmanuel Macron’s government evicted far-left squatters.
“Our priority targets are the Turkish state and the French state, as well as all the fascist groups,” the militants said, and vowed to use guerilla tactics to attack police, military, and intelligence officials who they labelled “powerful but not invulnerable”.
French Police Raid Alleged Far-Left Antifa Bomb Factory HQ https://t.co/ipmxBhTXNV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 22, 2020
According to Le Parisien, Florian D. returned to France in 2018 and was on the anti-terrorism watchlist known as the S-File. He is currently unemployed and has no fixed address.
A source also told the newspaper that several other members of the network were believed to have been under observation by the French intelligence services.
Across many parts of Europe, Antifa militants have been shown to have links not only to the Kurdish YPG but also to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is banned in many European countries as well as the UK.
Earlier this year in Austria, ultra-nationalist Turkish Grey Wolves attacked Antifa members and PKK supporters in Vienna, with Austrian officials placing blame on Turkish Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for stoking tensions in the country.
In Germany, controversy erupted in Hamburg after it was revealed that a constitutional judge was linked to both Antifa and the PKK and gave speeches about representing members of the PKK in court cases at the notorious Rote Flora Antifa squat.
Far-Left Antifa Arrested for Plotting Armed Attack on French Police https://t.co/ZlRAEhQmlO
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 2, 2020