A counter-terrorism prosecutor in France says a man arrested after police raided an apartment near Paris had a direct connection with the terror group "Islamic State." Authorities found bomb-making ingredients there.
Prosecutor Francois Molins (pictured) told reporters Sunday that two suspects linked to an explosives lab which was discovered last week have been placed under formal investigation on charges of associating with terrorists and manufacturing explosives.
"Analysis from the material seized showed one of the suspects had been in direct contact in August 2016 with Rachid Kassim via Facebook," Molins said. Kassim is believed to be a senior so-called "Islamic State" (IS) militant.
One of the detained men is the 36-year-old owner of the apartment where the materials were found, the other was previously known to intelligence authorities for suspected extremist views.
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A third man who had also been detained was released on Sunday without charge.
Bomb ingredients found
The explosive TATP was discovered by police in a flat in Villejuif, just south of Paris, on Wednesday. Other explosive materials were found in a nearby town the following day.
TATP has been used in several terror attacks in Western Europe over the past three years, including in Manchester in May, Brussels in 2016 and Paris in 2015.
Mollins said the two suspects admitted they wanted to join IS group and one of them confessed to following bomb-making videos put out by the terrorists. Neither had admitted to planning an attack on any specific target.
se/rc (AP, Reuters, dpa)