Ukraine’s security agency (SBU) has arrested a French citizen it claims was planning a series of terror attacks during the European Football Championships in France.
The agency said the suspect was apprehended in late May trying to smuggle five rifles, two grenade launchers, ammunition, detonators and dynamite across the Polish-Ukrainian border.
In a story issued via its website, SBU said it had been tracking the man since December when he came to east Ukraine claiming he wanted to join the bitter border dispute against Russian nationalists.
Whilst in Ukraine, the suspect said he was opposed to the spread of Islam, voiced his support for extreme right-wing views and revealed plans for 15 terror attacks during Euro 2016, which starts in Paris on Friday.
He said he wanted to hit transport infrastructure, tax offices, mosques and synagogues.
Neither the SBU statement nor Ukrainian media have named the suspect.
With France already on high alert after last year’s terrorist attacks and the recent bombings in nearby Brussels, there will be 90,000 police and counter-terrorism experts deployed during Euro 2016.
French President Francois Hollande recently promised that the tournament would not be derailed or spoiled by threats from terrorists.
With upwards of 500,000 British football fans expected to travel to France to support their teams, British law enforcement agencies have already pledged their support for French efforts to ensure the tournament goes ahead safely, having dealt with similar risks during the London Olympics.