Just five days before the famous Christmas market event in Strasbourg that attracts tourists from across Europe, French anti-terrorist officers arrested seven people in Strasbourg and Marseille.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said they thwarted what “had been a terrorist act that had been envisaged for a long time on our soil.” He did not identify the target of the attack.
So far, 42 people have been arrested in November as part of the anti-terror operations following the deadly ISIS attacks on France in the past two years. And Cazeneuve said French police have detained 418 people this year in terrorism investigations.
The latest arrests came after a report in which Dutch intelligence experts estimate that ISIS has between 60 and 80 operatives planted in Europe.
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The Dutch counterterrorism coordinator says ISIS is asking possible fighters not to go to Iraq or Syria but to prepare attacks in Europe.