Police in France have foiled a suspected terror attack and arrested two brothers of Egyptian origin, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Friday.
“There were two young people of Egyptian origin who were preparing to commit an attack, with either explosives or ricin, this very powerful poison,” the minister said on BFMTV.
Collomb told BFM television Friday that authorities were tracking extremist activity on social networks, adding that they had communicated via the Telecom encrypted messaging app. He said the young men were of Egyptian origin but didn't indicate their nationality or provide other details about where or when they were arrested.
He said the men notably had tutorials on how to make poison using ricin.
Collomb did not indicate when they were arrested, but a source close to the inquiry said they were detained in the northern 18th Arrondissement of Paris on May 11, the day before Khamzat Azimov carried out his knife rampage.
One of the men "admitted having wanted to stage an attack," the source told AFP.
Azimov also lived in the 18th Arrondissement, parts of which are packed with low-income high-rises and a mix of French and immigrant communities.
A 29-year-old man was killed and five other injured in a deadly knife attack in Paris on Saturday.
The announcement came days after an Islamic extremist stabbed five people in the heart of Paris, and as the country is still on edge after a string of deadly attacks in recent years.