Brothers held in France after 'attack thwarted'

Authorities in France have thwarted a possible attack using ricin or explosives and arrested two brothers, the country's interior minister said.

Gerard Collomb told BFM television on Friday that authorities were tracking extremist activity on social networks and identified two young men "preparing to commit an attack with explosives or ricin".

He said the young men were of Egyptian origin but did not indicate their nationality or provide other details about where or when they were arrested.

Mr Collomb said the brothers had been communicating on encrypted messaging app Telegram, and notably had tutorials on how to make poison using ricin.

No other information was immediately released.

The announcement came days after an Islamic extremist stabbed five people in the heart of Paris, and as the country is still on edge after a string of deadly attacks in recent years.

The assailant in Saturday's attack, a 20-year-old Frenchman of Chechen origin, had been on a watch list for radicals, like several others who have attacked France in recent years.

He was killed by police, and a close friend of his was arrested and given preliminary terrorism charges on Thursday night.

PA

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