The French police interrupted plans of four Frenchmen who plotted to attack Fort Béar a French naval commando base near Port-Vendres. The perpetrators planned to capture and behead a military officer at the base. The team planned their attack after viewing Islamic State (IS) videos on the web and contacting an ISIS fighter in Syria. One of the suspects was released after being questioned, officials said. The others are detained and await trial, after having confessed to plotting the attack, the French authorities said.
The selection of target seems odd, given the fortification and strong garrison at the base, which is the French national commando training center (CNEC), providing a training site for the French naval commandos. The investigation will look into the intentions of the attackers, assessing whether personal grudge was part and the motivation for the attack.
The elder member of the group served at the base for one year, as a member of the French Navy. He was discharged in January 2015. According to French authorities, there was no suggestion at the time that he showed extremist tendencies. The youngest member of the team, a teenager, did enter the watch list after his mother reported his radicalization – he was spotted on social media for his “activism on social networks.” French officials noted.
“The group became ‘strongly radicalized’, in particular by viewing I.S. videos.” the French prosecutor said. Living hundreds of kilometers apart, the four individuals joined together as a group online, where they were instructed by a Syrian member of the Islamic Republic to ‘hit targets in France’.
Although the target and overall plan were set, the group has not obtained weapons and other means to carry out the attack at the time of their arrest. (Le Figaro)