French Police Question Disneyland Paris Gun-Carrier, Militant Links Not Seen

Disneyland Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – Initial questioning of a man arrested with handguns and a Koran in his baggage at the Disney theme park near Paris suggests he had no link to any potential militant attack, but he will remain in custody, police and public prosecutors said on Friday.

France has been in a state of emergency since Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in a wave of jihadist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

The 28-year-old man, who police said was of European origin, was detained on Thursday as he passed through security scanners at a Disneyland hotel. Two handguns were found in baggage as well as a French-language version of the Koran, the principal religious text of Islam.

Police sources said France’s anti-terrorism squad had not so far been called in to help with the case.

The Meaux district prosecutor’s office said in a statement that checks on the man and his telephone yielded no indication of militancy and that the only record police had of the man in question was for a driving offence.

A woman who had been accompanying the man was questioned too after police tracked her down at her home.

The Meaux prosecutor’s office said an inquiry was continuing to determine whether the man was illegally in possession of the arms in question, a statement that chimed with information from police sources earlier in the day.

“Initial findings appear to point clearly to something other than an intention to attack,” one police source told Reuters.

According to another police source, the man said he was carrying the weapons for self-protection.

A local media report said the man was a cafe manager in the process of moving house and that the woman was his girlfriend – information not confirmed by the prosecutor’s office.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the November attacks and have called for further attacks on France, whose jets are bombing areas they control in Syria and Iraq.

(Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Mark Heinrich)