France charges eight over plot targeting politicians

French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower, in this January 8, 2015 file photo, in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2017
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France charges eight over plot targeting politicians

PARIS: France has charged eight men, including three minors, following an investigation into far-right activists allegedly plotting to target politicians and mosques, prosecutors announced Saturday in Paris.
The men — aged between 17 and 29 — are accused of being party to a “criminal terrorist conspiracy,” and of links to Logan Alexandre Nisin, a militant who was arrested near Marseille in June.
Nisin is the founder of a group dubbed OAS. He was detained after posting that he planned to attack blacks, jihadists, migrants and “scum.”
The 21-year-old had earlier come to the attention of French authorities as the administrator of a Facebook page glorifying neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in 2011 in Norway.
The prosecutor’s office in Paris said that the group formed by Nisin “had plans to commit violent actions with vague outlines.”
Anti-terror police had arrested 10 people on Tuesday over the alleged plot, but two of them, including Nisin’s mother, were released, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
Among the potential targets for attacks were places of worship, including mosques, politicians, “people of North African descent or black people” and “anti-fascist” activists, a probe source said.
“The organization was planning purchases of weapons and paramilitary training. Some were already trained in shooting,” the source added.
OAS was the acronym for the Secret Army Organization, a French far-right paramilitary group that fought to stop Algerian independence.
Nisin was formerly active in the far-right political group Action Francaise.
France remains under an enhanced security status. Parliament on Wednesday adopted a tough anti-terror bill which which replace a state of emergency imposed in 2015 after jihadist attacks in Paris.


NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

Updated 20 June 2018
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NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

  • Stoltenberg said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12
  • The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States

BRUSSELS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced confidence Tuesday that Alliance members will demonstrate unity at a summit next month despite “important differences” between the United States and European members of the transatlantic Alliance. US President Donald Trump has called on fellow members to shoulder a bigger share of the NATO budget. The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States. However Stoltenberg remained decidedly upbeat on Tuesday, while acknowledging the differences. “I’m absolutely confident that the NATO summit will demonstrate the transatlantic unity, that Europe and the United States stand together despite important differences on important issues like trade, the Paris (climate) agreement or the Iran nuclear deal,” the NATO leader told the France 24 television channel. “I met president Donald Trump recently in the White House and he reconfirmed his strong personal commitment to NATO and he also recognized that European allies are investing more in defense.” Trump caused dismay in Europe during his presidential campaign when he said that NATO was “obsolete” and failing to meet the challenge posed by Daesh terror groups. “He has a strong message about the need to do more (on defense spending) and I agree with him and the European allies also agree with him,” said Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg also said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12, after the small Balkan nation reached a deal with Greece to be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia.