Ultranationalist arrested for plotting attacks during Euro 2016 soccer tournament

¬†Ultranationalist-arrested-for-plotting-attacks-during-Euro-2016-soccer-tournament. KIEV, Ukraine, A French man arrested in Ukraine in May was planning mass attacks during France’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament, Ukraine’s intelligence agency said Monday.

The arrest of the French national in May. Screenshot courtesy of SBU video

Vasyl Hrystak, chief of Ukraine’s SBU agency, said the man, who was arrested near Ukraine’s border with Poland, had amassed five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 5,000 rounds of ammunition and 100 detonators, with plans to target French infrastructure, including bridges and railways. Hrystak added that a mosque and a synagogue were also among 15 potential targets. It was not clear if the suspect planned to attack the soccer matches, which begin Friday and conclude on July 10. Events will take place in cities across France.

The SBU said the suspect had been tracked since December and was driven by ultra-nationalist goals, adding that he spent time in eastern Ukraine fighting Russian-supported separatists.

While the agency did not identify him, French media referred to him as Gregoire Moutaux, 25. When he was arrested in May, the French television network M6 said he was formerly a worker on a farming co-operative in eastern France, and had no criminal record. A search of his home in France uncovered explosive materials and disguises, police sources said.

The suspect is being held on arms smuggling and terrorism charges.

Security will be intense during the tournament of national European soccer teams. French President Francois Hollande acknowledged Sunday that “the threat exists” the games could be targeted by terrorists, adding the country should not be intimidated.

By Ed Adamczyk