France says terror plot against military bases foiled

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

PARIS (AP) -- French authorities have foiled a plot by four would-be extremists to attack military bases, the interior minister said Wednesday.

The suspects, aged between 16 and 23, were arrested Monday at four separate locations around France, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve said the group's leader had been under surveillance after his online activities raised investigators' suspicions. He had also triggered alarms by signaling his desire to travel to Syria, Cazeneuve said. One of the suspects was a former member of the French navy, Cazeneuve said.

See photos from the terror attack last month in France

18 PHOTOS
France factory explosions, terror attack, beheading
See Gallery
France says terror plot against military bases foiled
French security stand next to the enclosed area where a decapitated body was found near the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French security and emergency services gather at the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande delivers a statement, following an emergency security meeting at the Elysee palace on June 26, 2015 in Paris, after an attack defined as 'Islamist terrorism' by the French prime minister hit a factory earlier in the day in the Rhone-Alpes region. Hollande announced he was raising the security level to 'attack' -- the highest possible -- in the region in which a gas factory was assaulted earlier on June 26. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on June 26, 2015 shows the Air Products gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, after a suspected Islamist assault in which a decapitated head was pinned to the gates. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
French security stand next to the enclosed area where a decapitated body was found near the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
A French police officer stands guard at the entrance of a street where criminal investigation police are carrying out a search at the home of a suspect in a neighborhood of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015, after a suspected Islamist assault on the nearby Air Products gas factory in which a decapitated head was pinned to the gates. At least one suspected Islamist launched a daylight raid on a gas factory in eastern France Friday, pinning a decapitated head to the gates and injuring at least two others with explosive devices. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Special forces of France's Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) arrive at the building housing the apartment of a man suspected of carrying out an attack in Saint-Priest near Lyon on June 26, 2015. A 35-year-old man arrested in connection with the attack on the Air Products gas factory was investigated nine years ago for radicalisation and has links to the Salafist movement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. He identified the suspect as Yacine Salhi, 35, who was known to have lived around Lyon, France's second largest city, near the site of the attack. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
Special forces of France's Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) escort an unidentified woman as they leave the building housing the apartment of a man suspected of carrying out an attack in Saint-Priest near Lyon on June 26, 2015. A 35-year-old man arrested in connection with the attack on the Air Products gas factory was investigated nine years ago for radicalisation and has links to the Salafist movement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. He identified the suspect as Yacine Salhi, 35, who was known to have lived around Lyon, France's second largest city, near the site of the attack. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande delivers a statement, following an emergency security meeting at the Elysee palace on June 26, 2015 in Paris, after an attack defined as 'Islamist terrorism' by the French prime minister hit a factory earlier in the day in the Rhone-Alpes region. Hollande announced he was raising the security level to 'attack' -- the highest possible -- in the region in which a gas factory was assaulted earlier on June 26. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (C) gives a press conference near the entrance of the Air Products gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier near Lyon, southeastern France, on June 26, 2015 after an attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at the factory. The suspect arrested in connection with the attack on a French gas factory was probed nine years ago for radicalisation and has links to the Salafist movement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police secure the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police and firefighters secure the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French security stand outside the enclosed area (R) where a decapitated body was found, near the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police secure the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police secure the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
French police secure the entrance of the Air Products company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, central eastern France, on June 26, 2015. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A decapitated body was found nearby the factory, another source said. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZE (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The minister said authorities break up similar plots every week in France, where more than 300 people have been implicated in jihadi activities since 2012.

There are no known links between the suspects arrested Monday and a double blast Tuesday at a petrochemical plant in southern France, Cazeneuve said.

A total of 1,850 French citizens or permanent residents are implicated in jihadi networks, and 500 are believed to be currently in Syria or Iraq, Cazeneuve said.

Related Video: 'In The Skin Of A Jihadist'

'In The Skin Of A Jihadist'

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners