French interior minister Gérard Collomb has warned that “no-one is safe” after the authorities foiled an attempted apartment bombing in Paris.
Five suspects have been detained after a resident in an apartment building in the 16th arrondissement reported suspicious activity to the police, the Associated Press reports.
An explosive device was subsequently discovered and successfully defused, and counter-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation, according to a judicial official speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Blowing up a building in a chic neighbourhood of Paris — is this not a sign that no one is safe? This doesn’t happen just in suburbs in working-class neighbourhoods,” remarked Collomb.
The interior minister had to admit that one of the suspects was already subject to government surveillance for radicalism, suggesting that they had been able to participate in the plot undetected because such people usually have “friends [and] networks that can carry out the act”, and assistance from people who have not displayed outward signs of radicalisation “but are ready to help”.
Counter-Terror Chief: Europe Home to ‘More than 50,000’ Islamic Radicals — with up to 25,000 in UK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 1, 2017
The attempted bombing follows hot on the heels of a deadly attack in Marseille, in which a man reported as shouting “Allahu Akbar!” slit one woman’s throat and fatally stabbed another at the Saint-Charles railway station, before being shot dead by an army patrol.
The French establishment has responded to the ongoing jihadist chaos with new anti-terror laws which is ostensibly aimed at ending the country’s two-year state of emergency, but critics say the legislation makes it effectively permanent and rolls back long-standing civil liberties.
'Islamic State' Chanting Attackers 'Behead' Priest During Morning Mass In France https://t.co/5KHehnv8sQ
— Raheem (@RaheemKassam) July 26, 2016
Islamists previously undertook a large-scale apartment bombing campaign in Europe in 1999, according to the official version of events.
Whole buildings were levelled to the ground in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow, and Volgodonsk as a series of massive explosions ripped through residential blocks, leaving 293 killed and over a thousand injured.
Chief suspect Achemez Gochiyayev remains unaccounted for.