Home Global News Terrorist Arrests in Paris May Have Prevented Large-Scale Attack

Terrorist Arrests in Paris May Have Prevented Large-Scale Attack


By Dr. Monique M. Maldonado
Contributor, In Homeland Security

On Nov. 25, French police arrested ISIS operatives for attempting to commit a terrorist attack in France. According to French prosecutor Francois Molins, Paris domestic intelligence units pursued a nearly year-long investigation on the suspects.

The suspects received orders to obtain money and weapons in order to commit a large-scale attack. A commander from Iraq or Syria, presumably a member of ISIS, gave the group instructions via encrypted smartphone apps. The commander’s identity has not been disclosed.

Terrorists’ Attack Target Remains Unconfirmed

According to sources and reports, the suspects were to execute an attack on December 1 in Strasbourg, but there was no specified location. Amidst rumors that the plot was to target Disneyland, cafes and markets, Molins, who prosecutes terrorist cases within France, did not confirm the reports.

Seven suspects were arrested and two were released on their own recognizance. Five remain in custody as intelligence and law enforcement agencies continue their investigation.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Possible Target for Terrorists

The impending attack could not have been better planned or equipped. France has already faced three major terrorist attacks in 2015 alone, which killed over 200 people.

According to Benoit Morenne of the New York Times, “the arrests came shortly before the popular Christmas market in Strasbourg that opened on Friday, which attracts nearly two million visitors each year.” The suspects were arrested between Strasbourg and Marseille, where their leader gave them additional details about the proposed attack.

Authorities confiscated devices that contained information describing money sources and directions on where to acquire weapons and ammunition. In addition, there were notes found in one of the suspects’ apartments. The notes contained writings that pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Under Parisian law, investigators have the right to search and seize dwellings to obtain any data involving terrorist plots. Morenne stated that the people who are currently detained have been identified as “Yassine B., 37, a school employee, Hicham M., 37, a warehouse worker, Sami B., 36, a French-Tunisian father of three who worked in a grocery store, and Zacaria M., 35, a French-Moroccan whose employment status was not disclosed…The fifth suspect was identified as Hicham E., a 26-year-old Moroccan citizen who left his country in 2013.”

At least four of the suspects knew each other and had frequent conversations via landline communication. All of the suspects have been known to travel between France, Turkey, Syria and Greece. The Irish Times stated that five days after being detained, police moved the suspects to the Parisian court system to “face counter-terrorism investigating judges.”

Although these suspects have been arrested, the investigation continues. French authorities are still determining if there are additional terrorism cells or potential threats to French locations.



Online Degrees & Certificates For Intelligence Professionals

American Military University’s online degrees and certificates in intelligence are taught by experienced professors. Many serve as leaders in intelligence, military or homeland security sectors and they impart real-world expertise in the online classroom. Our students also connect with an expansive network of intelligence students and professionals who are equally dedicated to service, professionalism, and the continual assessment and enhancement of the intelligence cycle.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.