Man Claiming to Be Former ISIS Fighter Arrested for Threatening French Police

Police officers stand on March 25, 2016 in Paris after young people have thrown projectiles against the police station of Paris 19th arrondissement, in a sign of protest against alledged police violence on a student during a demonstration of youths against the French labour law reform. A video of a …

A man who claimed to be a former Islamic State fighter was arrested in Perpignan, France, after threatening to attack several police stations with a Kalashnikov rifle.

The suspect had called stations in Lyon, Strasbourg, Lille, Marseille, Bordeaux, Narbonne, and the Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis on September 22nd and 23rd, making similar threats.

According to a report from broadcaster BFMTV, the first several calls were made to a police station in Marseille, indicating that the suspect wanted to carry out an attack in the 15th arrondissement (district) of the city. More calls were made to a police station later that day involving similar threats.

On the 23rd, the man called multiple police stations in Lille and claimed he had been ordered to murder all of the police officers. Later that day, he called Strasbourg and Narbonne but changed his story, claiming to be wearing a suicide vest.

Investigators were able to trace the phone calls to a mobile phone belonging to a 30-year-old man in Perpignan named Frédéric H. The suspect not only admitted to making the threats but claimed he had travelled to Syria between January and March of last year.

He was arrested on Friday and later placed in psychiatric custody after he revealed that he had previously been in psychiatric care. His criminal record also revealed that he had been involved in similar incidents and was known to the court system for apologising for terrorism.

Radical Islamic terrorism remains a major security concern in France, with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin noting in May that over 1,000 illegal migrants were on the Terrorist Radicalisation Prevention Report Index (FSRPT), an anti-terrorism watchlist.

Another terrorist watchlist known as the S-file is said to have tens of thousands of individuals on it, so many that police manpower is unable to keep track of them all.

In November of last year, President Emmanuel Macron admitted that some parts of France are becoming breeding grounds for terrorism, saying: “In certain districts and on the internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching hatred of the Republic to our children, calling on them to disregard its laws.”

Earlier this month, one of the most notorious Islamic terrorists in France, the only surviving attacker who took part in the Bataclan massacre, Salah Abdeslam, began his trial for the 2015 attacks.

During a hearing he defended terrorism, stating that terrorists were “authentic Muslims” and that the attacks were “nothing personal”.

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


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