A French national has been arrested from northwestern Paris for plotting an attack on the country, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Thursday. The suspect has been identified as Reda Kriket and he has been linked to the November 2015 Paris terror attacks mastermind, CNN reported.
Kriket’s arrest helped “foil a plot in France that was at an advanced stage,” Cazeneuve said, according to Reuters. “The individual questioned, a French national, is suspected of high-level involvement in this plan. He was part of a terrorist network that planned to strike France,” the interior minister added.
After the arrest, French counterterrorism service conducted raids Thursday night at an apartment building in Argenteuil, a suburb in northern Paris, according to Cazeneuve.
“At this stage, there is no tangible evidence that links this plot to the attacks in Paris and Brussels,” Cazeneuve said, according to Reuters.
Court documents showed that 34-year-old Kriket was previously found guilty in absentia and sentenced to 10 years of jail for being a member of a jihadist network, CNN reported. A Belgian court had convicted Kriket in July 2015, along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of Paris terror attacks that left 130 people dead. It has been widely speculated that Abaaoud was an operative of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.
Since the beginning of the year, French officials have arrested 75 people as part of the fight against terrorism. Of those arrested, 37 people have been placed under formal investigation and to 28 others have been incarcerated, Cazeneuve reportedly said.
Security in Europe has been beefed up after twin bombings at an airport in Belgian capital Brussels and explosions at a metro station in the city. The blasts left at least 31 people dead.
According to the U.S. counterterrorism officials, a combination of electronic intercepts, human sources and database tracking showed several potential targets had been picked out by ISIS militants over the past few months after the Paris attacks, CNN reported.