French and Swiss police have detained ten people suspected of preparing a possible attack in coordinated anti-terror raids. A 23-year-old Colombian woman and 27-year-old Swiss man were reportedly among those detained.
A total of ten people were detained in counterterrorism operations in France and Switzerland on Tuesday.
Nine of the suspects were detained in France and one was detained in Switzerland, according to French officials. Some of the suspects had been flagged for Islamic radicalization.
Swiss police took a 23-year-old Colombian woman into custody as part of a Swiss investigation into suspected terrorist activity and Islamist militant groups such as the “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaida.
A 27-year-old Swiss man was also arrested in a parallel operation in France. A source close to the probe told French news agency AFP that the man had been in contact with a 14-year-old French boy who was “about to carry out” an attack.
A French security official who spoke to the Associated Press said the suspected plot did not appear to be fully developed, but authorities were concerned the group was moving towards action.
The suspects were being questioned following raids in Paris suburbs, southeastern France and western Switzerland.
Those arrested were aged from 18 to 65 years, a French judicial source told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Communicated via Telegram
Authorities launched investigations after noting suspicious activity from a person using the encrypted messaging app Telegram. A Swiss-based suspect had communicated with people in France using Telegram and other social networks about unspecified violent acts, according to French authorities.
The arrests took place one week after France introduced stricter national security laws to permanently replace emergency powers that had been given to intelligence services and police following deadly attacks on Paris two years ago.
Over 240 people have been killed in France since 2015 in attacks carried out by militants or assailants inspired by IS.