Frenchman ‘planned attacks during Euro 2016’ – Ukraine’s SBU

A Frenchman detained last month with a large cache of
arms was planning mass attacks during the Euro 2016
football tournament, which starts on Friday, Ukrainian
officials say.
The man, identified by French media as Gregoire Moutaux,
25, was arrested on the Ukrainian border with Poland.
Intelligence chief Vasyl Hrytsak said the man had planned 15
attacks and was driven by ultra-nationalist views.
He had amassed guns, detonators and 125kg of TNT, Mr
Hrytsak said.
Mr Hrytsak listed bridges, motorways, a mosque and a
synagogue among the suspect’s potential targets. He was
being prosecuted for arms smuggling and terrorism, he said.
It was not clear if the tournament itself was being targeted.
‘Threat exists’
News of the man’s arrest on 21 May first emerged in a
report by French TV network M6. The suspect was
described as a worker at a farming co-operative from the
Lorraine area of eastern France. He had no previous
criminal record, reports said.
French authorities have been on high security alert ahead of
the European championships, amid fears that the
tournament could be targeted by Islamist militants.
President Francois Hollande said on Sunday that “the threat
exists” but that France should not be daunted.
Ukraine’s SBU security service said it had been watching the
suspect since December last year and that he had picked up
five Kalashnikovs, two anti-tank grenade launchers, some
5,000 rounds of ammunition, 100 detonators, as well as a
large quantity of explosives.
An SBU video was shown of the dramatic moment of the
suspect’s arrest along with the weapons that intelligence
officials said they had found. The arrest was said to have
taken place at a border crossing close to the Ukrainian town
of Yagodyn.
The footage also revealed a second person being wrestled to
the ground on the passenger side of the car.
A search was carried out at the suspect’s home in the tiny
village of Nant-le-Petit and police sources told French media
that explosive material and balaclavas were recovered.
An inquiry has been launched by France’s organised crime
agency, OCLCO, and by regional authorities in Nancy.
However, French police sources told AFP news agency that
Ukrainian officials had yet to send them any details. There
was some scepticism that the suspect could have been
anything more than an arms trafficker.
Residents in Nant-le-Petit were stunned by the arrest of
Gregoire Moutaux, who lives there with his grandfather and
works as a cattle inseminator.
“He’s a rather nice guy, who I think is actually rather well-
educated. I’ve even invited him over for a glass of wine. I
just can’t understand this,” neighbour Jean-Jacques Renck
told France 3 TV.
Anti-terrorism specialist Alain Bauer said Ukraine had
become a big source of arms because of the continuing
conflict in the east of the country. He said the man detained
did not fit the usual profile of an attacker, and it was not
clear whether he intended to sell the arms or use them
He pointed to the arrest last year of far-right activist Claude
Hermant, accused of providing weapons to a jihadist who
murdered four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris in
January 2015.