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Ukraine Detains Man Accused of Planning Attacks on Euro 2016 Soccer Championship in France

The Ukrainian border guard service reported over the weekend that the unnamed 25-year-old had been arrested with an arsenal of weapons and explosives including rocket launchers and Kalashnikov assault rifles in his vehicle.

by Reuters News Agency
Jun 6 2016, 11:25am

Photo by Robert Pratta/Reuters

Ukrainian authorities recently apprehended a French citizen detained on the Ukrainian-Polish border, who had allegedly been planning attacks in France to coincide with the Euro 2016 soccer championship it is hosting.

The Ukrainian border guard service reported over the weekend that the unnamed 25-year-old had been arrested with an arsenal of weapons and explosives including rocket launchers and Kalashnikov assault rifles in his vehicle.

The state security service confirmed the arrest on Monday. SBU chief Vasily Gritsak said the man had made contact with armed groups in Ukraine with the aim of buying weapons and explosives.

His intended targets allegedly included Jewish and Muslim places of worship and buildings involved with the soccer tournament, Gritsak said. French government administration buildings, including those dealing with tax collection, were also a target.

"The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government's actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalization, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks," Gritsak told journalists.

"The SBU was able to prevent a series of 15 acts of terror (planned) for the eve and during the Euro soccer championship," he said.

Security officials in Europe are on high alert after Islamist militants killed 130 people in Paris last November and suicide bombers killed 32 people at Belgium's main international airport and on the Brussels metro in March.

The United States has warned its citizens of possible further attacks in Europe, saying targets could include Euro 2016 which opens in France on Friday.

Gritsak said the SBU had sold deactivated weapons to the suspect after they found out that he was looking to purchase the arms.

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