Gas tanks and documents in Arabic were found in an car lacking a license plate next to Notre Dame cathedral, sparking fear of a new terror attack.The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Paris's most popular tourist sites.
Police were alerted to the car when a resident rang in to say a vehicle had been poorly parked at 43 rue de la Bûcherie in the 5th arrondissement with its headlights on.
Investigators quickly traced the car to its owner, who is on a French list of potential terror suspects and “has been identified, arrested and placed in custody.”
Two couples known to intelligence services as being “favorable to the ideas of ISIL” were also arrested.
Police say they think the car was set up as a dry-run for a terrorist attack. A police source said, “The fact that there was no detonating device linked to the gas tanks and that the warning lights were left on are as if they were trying to attract attention.”
In May, Patrick Calvar, head of France's intelligence service, DGSI, said he was “convinced” that ISIL would “move to the booby-trapped cars stage and explosive devices. “Once they have bomb makers in place on our soil, they'll be able to avoid sacrificing fighters while creating maximum damage,” he said at a parliamentary national defense committee meeting.
Foreign Minister Mr. Cazeneuve said in recent days that French security services had arrested seven terror suspects in the month of August, including three that were in the process of planning an attack.
On Tuesday, Manuel Valls, the prime minister, warned: “The terror threat has never been so high.”