“Several people” are being held in Paris after police found an unmarked car containing gas cylinders next to Notre Dame cathedral, according to French reports, sparking fears of a fresh terrorist plot.
An anti-terror investigation has been launched following the discovery of the suspicious vehicle containing seven gas cylinders and a book in Arabic writing on Sunday yards from the cathedral, one of Paris’ most visited landmarks where thousands of tourists congregate every day.
The car, a Peugeot 607 with no number plates, contained no explosives or detonators, according to French reports. “They were not linked to any kind of fuse,” one source close to the investigation told l’Express.
It was parked on the Quai de Montebello in the fifth arrondissement of Paris – a narrow stretch of water away from the cathedral.
Anti-terror police revealed the find this morning and also said they believe the vehicle belonged to someone on their intelligence watchlist. It was found abandoned and with its lights on, but forensics teams have since examined the vehicle and declared it safe.
This week, François Molins, the Paris prosecutor, warned …that …One “worrying factor”, he told Le Monde, was the threat of the return to France of around 2,000 French nationals either on their way to Syria or wishing to return. In recent months, he said, judges had noted “an acceleration of cases of young female minors with very worrying profiles, very harsh personalities. The are sometimes behind terror projects that from an intellectual standpoint, are starting to be very well thought-out.”