Six people were arrested in different corners of France on Tuesday as a part of an investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate French President Emmanuel Macron.
According to reports from officials within France’s DGSI intelligence agency, the arrests took place in three different regions of the country: Isère, Moselle, and Ille-et-Vilaine. While the identities of the five men and one woman charged have not yet been released, their ages reportedly range from 22 years old to 62 years old and all reportedly have connections to the nation’s far-Right movement.
“The investigation is looking into an imprecise and loosely formed plan for violent action against the President of the Republic,” one official told the media. Officials went on to say that an investigation is ongoing regarding a “criminal terrorist association.” The suspects have reportedly been under surveillance while French authorities gathered evidence prior to making the arrests.
This alleged attempt on Macron’s life comes on the heels of a series of statements made by the French president denouncing the resurgence of far-Right politics in Europe, likening the political complacency he says he’s witnessed to the continent’s behavior in the 1900s that ultimately primed the continent for Hitler’s rise to power. Macron is headed for a hotly contested European Parliament election in May, where far-Right candidates are leading the polls currently.
Interestingly, Macron also recently made statements denouncing Europe’s “ultra-Liberalism” as well. As a part of Macron’s concerted push for a more unified European Union, he recently called for both a “real” European army that could replace the continent’s reliance on the United States through NATO, and a shift away from the liberal policies Macron claims have hurt the region’s middle class.
“Europe, without a doubt, has become too ultra-liberal,” he said during an appearance on a morning radio show. It no longer permits the middle classes to live well. We must have a Europe that protects workers more.”
This is not the first time French citizens have been charged for plotting to kill Emmanuel Macron. Last July, a man was arrested and charged for “threatening to kill” Macron shortly after he was elected. The plot to kill Macron was allegedly set for Paris’ Bastille Day military parade that was slated to take place on July 14th, but the suspect was apprehended eleven days before he could enact his plan. According to reports, his plan first began to unravel when he was identified trying to find a way to buy a “machine gun” in an online video game chatroom.