Ukraine Busts Man, Says He Plotted Slew of Attacks on Soccer Tourney

Ukraine says it foiled far-right extremist plot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2016 12:33 AM CDT
Frenchman 'Plotted 15 Attacks' at Euro 2016
Confiscated ammunition and explosives on display at the Yahodyn crossing at the Ukrainian-Polish border.   (Ukrainian Intelligence Agency)

A Frenchman with an arsenal of weapons and a grudge against his government's immigration policies was detained as he tried to leave Ukraine and launch an assault on the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, Ukrainian officials said Monday, describing it as a thwarted plot for a "series of 15 terrorist attacks." The announcement came as France promised unprecedented security for the soccer tournament's crowds and stadiums, which includes the French national stadium that was attacked by suicide bombers on Nov. 13, the AP reports. Ukrainian agents had been following the man since December and allowed him to buy five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 275 pounds of TNT, 100 detonators, and other arms. He also bought 20 balaclavas before he was arrested at the Yahodyn border crossing between Ukraine and Poland last month.

Ukraine says the suspect wanted to protest his government's immigration policies and the spread of Islam. It says he planned attacks on bridges, railways, and other infrastructure for the tournament. French television network M6 reported that investigators found T-shirts promoting an extreme-right group at his home near the eastern city of Nancy. One expert said the universe of potential attackers against Euro 2016 just expanded with the news from Ukraine. "Just because you have stopped one group does not mean there's not another one elsewhere," a French anti-terrorist judge told RTL radio, warning that security forces have "focused on a menace that is known," but that the threat from the extreme right can't be ignored. ISIS extremists have threatened France during the tournament, but authorities haven't confirmed specific dangers. (More France stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.