French anti-terror police arrested six people, including a school principal, alleged to be far-left extremists, in connection with the sabotage of a communications tower.
Anti-terror police arrested the school principal, said to be a woman in her 60s, on Tuesday in the department (county) of Creuse. Officers also arrested two other women and three men in the department of Haute-Vienne.
The six alleged far-left extremists are accused of taking part in an arson attack on a relay antenna in the district of Cars in January, which led to 1.4 million people being without access to radio, television, and mobile phones, French newspaper Le Figaro reports.
According to the local prosecutor’s office, the six “ultra-left” extremists are suspected of “destruction and degradation by dangerous means [undertaken by] an organised gang, criminal association, and destruction of property likely to harm the interests of the nation”.
France: Far-Left Antifa Extremists Possible Suspects in Mass Sabotage of Internet Infrastructure https://t.co/ydwvfFowXn
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 8, 2020
A group of 70 people gathered in the city of Limoges to protest the arrests of the alleged far-left extremists, including the partner of the principal who stated that the charges of terrorism against the woman made “everyone howl with laughter!”
Far-left extremists have committed attacks on infrastructure, particularly communications, in France for several years.
In February, communications company Constructel suffered infrastructure attacks in the communes of Brézins and Sassenage, both in the department of Isère, with fibre optic cables being destroyed, vehicles damaged, and a 980-foot high fibre optic tower set on fire.
Anarchists took credit for both attacks on the far-left Indymedia web platform, stating: “…it is not to protest against 5G in particular but in a broader context, fighting against the techno-world.”
In May 2020, Antifa militants were suspected of being behind the cutting of telephone and communications cables in the Île-de-France region that knocked out internet connectivity for at least 50,000 customers and is suspected of having cost €1 million (£860,000/$1.19m) in damages.
Far-left French anarchists have taken credit for two arson attacks on a telecommunications company in the latest act of infrastructure sabotage claimed by far-left militants. https://t.co/EApl0HfoJU
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 27, 2021
A leaked note from France’s Central Territorial Intelligence Service (SCRT) claimed that far-left militants had been behind at least 20 acts of sabotage in the period of just a few weeks last year, all of the attacks targeting communications.
“These individuals have forced open the street signs that protect underground fibre optic networks. They then cut the big cables and took the time to cut everything into smaller pieces to delay repairs that could take weeks,” a source told the French newspaper, Le Parisien, at the time.