Authorities in France have busted a neo-Nazi cell accused of plotting terrorist attacks against Jewish and Muslim institutions, officials said Tuesday. The suspects had named their group L’Oiseau Noir (Black Bird) and were said to be “close in ideology to the neo-Nazi movement.”
Five members of the group were charged between September and May over the alleged plot, which was still in the early stages of planning, a source close to the investigation revealed. Among the suspects are two minors and an assistant volunteer constable.
Authorities seized a batch of Kalashnikovs, explosives, a Glock pistol, and a rifle at the group’s home in Grenoble. The cell was planning terrorist attacks against several targets, including the annual dinner of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and Muslim places of worship.
The suspects were all charged with terror offenses, including conspiracy to murder.
While France has suffered a series of devastating Islamist terrorist attacks since 2015, authorities have also foiled several far-right terrorist plots against Jewish and Muslim communities.
In June 2018, Action des Forces Operationnelles (Operational Forces Action), a far-right vigilante group with cells all over France, had planned to kill Muslim civilians. Although it was unclear if an attack was imminent, authorities seized at their homes 14 handguns, 22 rifles, thousands of cartridges, and explosive materials, as well as a guide for “homemade napalm.”
The website of the group listed as enemies “upholders of the Islamic system,” as well as “sub-Saharan Africans.” The Jewish community was listed as “targets if the War of France breaks out.”
In December 2018, six people linked to an extreme right movement were detained on suspicions that they were preparing a “violent” plot against minority groups and French President Emmanuel Macron. The suspects reportedly wanted to “kill Macron, Muslims, blacks, Jews, and homosexuals.”
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