French authorities Tuesday arrested six suspects in several regions of the country in connection with an alleged plot to attack President Emmanuel Macron.
French intelligence services had evidence suggesting the six suspects had a “vague and unfinalized, but violent” plan to attack the president, according to a judicial official.
Public prosecutors launched an investigation into “criminal terrorist association.”
The suspects, who were not immediately identified, were detained in three regions: one in the Alps, one in Brittany and four in the Moselle region near the border with Belgium.
Macron on Tuesday was in the city of Verdun as part of the commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. On the Nov. 11 anniversary of Armistice Day, dozens of heads of state and other government leaders are expected to attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
French TV channel LCI reported that one suspect had told friends he wanted to attack Macron with a ceramic knife, which he said would not be detected by security checks, at some time during the commemorations.
In July 2017, a suspect was arrested and accused of planning to assassinate Macron at France’s Bastille Day military parade.
In 2002, a suspect tried to attack President Jacques Chirac on the Champs-Elysees in Paris during Bastille Day celebrations.
Willsher is a special correspondent.