Egyptian Arrested over Terror Plot on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

An allegedly ISIS-tied Egyptian man was arrested in France in connection to a suspected terrorist plot against the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

French officers of the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) arrested a 62-year-old Egyptian with reported links to the so-called Islamic State in Paris earlier this month on suspicion of planning an attack on the Notre Dame Cathedral.

While his arrest was initially reported at the time, the suspected terrorist’s ties to ISIS, his nationality, and his alleged planned attack on the medieval Catholic cathedral, which is still being repaired after being badly damaged in a 2019 fire, were first reported on Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche.

Following his arrest, the suspected jihadist was indicted for “criminal terrorist association” and was placed under pre-trial detention on March 8th.

The French Ministry of the Interior said: “Everything is done to ensure the safety of the French. The prefects received very precise instructions; radicalized people are closely monitored. We have strengthened the security of places of worship and educational buildings, but also of transport and public buildings as well as festive, cultural and religious gatherings.

“Since 2015, the DGSI workforce has been doubled, increasing to more than 5,000 agents. The budget has also been significantly revised upwards. At the same time, 10,000 police officers and gendarmes are mobilized to exercise increased surveillance of places at risk.”

The disclosure comes as French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced last week that the terror threat system had been raised to its highest level following the ISIS-claimed attack on a Moscow concert hall that left at least 143 people dead.

The terror threat level was previously raised to its highest level in October after a teacher was stabbed to death by a Chechnyan migrant amid calls from the Palestinian terror group Hamas called for a global “day of jihad” in the wake of the October 7th terror attacks on Israel.

Demonstrating the scale of the Islamist terror threat in France, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Monday that intelligence and law enforcement officials in the country have foiled terror posts nearly “every month”. He added that “all countries are affected” and that the “Islamist threat can affect everyone at any time.”

On Friday, French broadcaster BFMTV reported that Darmanin had ordered local officials to deploy police officers to protect Catholic and Protestant churches over the weekend, given that Christian places of worship serve as a likely target for Muslim terrorists.

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