Fearing an Attack, Man Arrested Ahead of Thursday’s Olympic Torch Relay in France

Fri May 24 2024
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BORDEAUX, France: Fearing an attack, French authorities arrested and charged a 26-year-old man ahead of Thursday’s Olympic torch relay in Bordeaux, officials said.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on X that the individual planning a violent act during the Olympic torch relay in Bordeaux has been questioned.

The investigation into the individual, identified as Alex G., was launched after an alert by a French online extremism watchdog revealed posts referring to the 2014 mass killings in California.

The 26-year-old man, who was arrested on Tuesday, appeared before an investigating judge on Thursday. He was charged with criminal conspiracy but released before trial while under court supervision.

Prosecutors, who asked for the man to be taken into custody, said they would appeal the decision.

The Olympic torch has passed through the south-west city as part of a nationwide tour ahead of the Olympic Games, which start on July 26. Bordeaux will host several football clashes in the Olympic games.

The entire relay is surrounded by strict security.

The prosecutor recommended that Alex G. be taken into custody after he admitted to considering carrying out the attack, the sources said.

“No reference was made to the Olympic torch,” Bordeaux prosecutor Frederique Porterie said in a press statement.

According to a police source, Alex G shared a video clip of Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and himself in a 2014 rampage in California, writing: “We miss you Elliot.”

Police seized a “revolver, a rubber pistol, several mobile phones and a computer” during a search of the suspect’s house in the suburbs of Bordeaux.

The prosecutor said people close to the suspect say he is “mentally very fragile. However, the appointed psychiatrist did not reveal any specific disorder”.

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