French police say they have foiled an imminent attack leading up to the presidential election, with the arrest of two men in Marseille on Tuesday. Explosives and multiple weapons were found at the suspects’ flat in the southern port city.
The two Frenchmen, one born in 1987 and the other in 1993, had met while sharing a prison cell and were known to police as having converted to radical Islam, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said at a press conference.
In addition to a machine gun and two handguns, Molins added that an Islamic State group flag was also found in the apartment where the two suspects were arrested.
Anti-terror police and agents from France’s domestic intelligence agency conducted the arrests.
France votes Sunday in the first round of its two-stage election, with security ramped up for the ballot after a series of terrorist attacks in recent years that have made security one of the major issues of the campaign.
Authorities, who had reportedly been looking for the two suspects for more than a week, had privately warned the main presidential candidates that there was a threat, campaign officials said.