Just a little over a year since 130 people died in the November Paris Attacks, it has emerged that a suspected terror cell researched such landmarks as Disneyland Paris, the annual Christmas Market on the Champs-Elysées and the headquarters of the Police Judiciare at 36 Quai des Orfèvres as it plotted a series of coordinated attacks for December 1. Five out of seven people arrested last weekend have now had their custody extended for another two days.
According to French daily Libération, the seven people who were arrested last weekend between Strasbourg and Marseille had been under surveillance since the June arrest of another cell planning attacks during this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Security sources told Le Parisien that the suspects had fought in Syria and were linked to the Isis cell that carried out the Paris Attacks last November.
The extension of the custody today suggests there is concern over an imminent attack or that the investigation is part of an international cooperation. Found with the suspects were handguns and automatic weapons as well as jihadist propaganda.
Disneyland Paris said in a statement, “We work closely with state and local authorities, and constantly review the security measures we have in place.” Last January, potential danger was thwarted when French police arrested a man attempting to enter the New York Hotel at Disneyland Paris carrying a suitcase holding two automatic guns; although the situation was not believed to be terrorism-related.
France has remained in a state of high alert — or Vigipirate — since November 13, 2015, when the Paris Attacks began at the Stade de France football stadium before gunmen ravaged the Bataclan and the 10th arrondissement of the capital city, ultimately killing 130 people. Then, on Bastille Day this summer, a truck drove into a crowd on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, killing 86. Sting recently performed a charity concert at the Bataclan, re-opening the theater for the first time.