Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016: Fifteen planned terror attacks targeting bridges and railways thwarted

Fifteen planned terror attacks for Euro 2016 in France have been prevented, security officials have said.

Ukraine's intelligence agency the SBU said it had been following a French man since December and allowed him to purchase five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons before he was arrested on the Ukrainian-Polish border last month.

They said he was driven by ultra-nationalist views and planned 15 attacks on bridges, railways and other pieces of infrastructure for Euro 2016.

Millions of football fans are expected to travel to France for the tournament including thousands from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland team are holding their first training session in France today after they arrived on Sunday June 5.

Read more:
Euro 2016: Northern Ireland squad hold first training session in France 

Fans will start making their way to Nice ahead of the team's first game against Poland on Sunday June 12.

Extremist attacks are a major concern for French authorities as they prepare to host the month-long tournament at stadiums in the Paris area and eight other cities from Friday through to July 10.

Islamic State extremists have threatened France during the tournament, but authorities have not confirmed specific dangers.

France is deploying 90,000 security forces for the tournament, and French president Francois Hollande said on Sunday night that the threat of attacks will not stop it from being successful.

"The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government's migration policies, the spread of Islam and globalisation," the SBU said. "He also said that he wanted to perpetrate acts of terror in protest."

Belfast Telegraph Digital