Man held for planned attack

Police in south-west France have arrested a man suspected of having planned an attack on New Year’s eve, a police source said yesterday.

Two other people, one of whom is suspected of having planned an attack on police, were arrested in another police raid in Toulouse, in the south-west of the country, the police source said.

The arrests came as German authorities detained a Tunisian man they suspect of involvement in the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market which killed 12 people, prosecutors said yesterday. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which some critics say was made easier by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy.

German investigators found the mobile number of the 40-year-old Tunisian stored in the phone of Anis Amri, the man believed to have hijacked a truck and rammed it into the crowd at a Christmas market in the German capital on December 19.

In France, Britain and Germany, which have all been targets of Islamist militant attacks, police have increased their presence at tourist spots in major cities and other densely populated areas after the market attack in Berlin.

The man arrested in Cugnaux, west of Toulouse, “is known to [police] services, he is suspected of wanting to carry out an attack on 31 December,” the police source said.

A judicial source also confirmed the arrests and said they had taken place on Tuesday and concerned two separate cases.

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