French police arrest two people suspected of plotting Christmas stabbing attack

The suspects, aged 23, were detained by domestic intelligence in late November

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: France Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin meets members of the BRI, France's Research and Intervention Brigade, after a ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of the 13th November 2015 Paris Terror Attacks outside the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2021 in Paris, France. In November 2015, three teams of jihadists launched a suicide-bombing and gun assault on bars, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall, killing 130, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. The trial over these attacks is currently ongoing. (Photo by Kiran Ridley / Getty Images)

French police arrested two people suspected of planning a stabbing spree over the Christmas period.

The suspects, both aged 23, were detained by domestic intelligence service, the DGSI, in separate locations outside Paris in late November.

They were then charged with terrorism-related offences on December 3 and remanded in custody.

They had planned to attack people during the Christmas period in shopping centres, universities or in the street.

Islamist literature and ISIS propaganda was found during the arrests, according to newspaper reports.

"The terrorist threat remains at a high level in France, we are not lowering our guard," France's Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said. "Thank you to the services of the Directorate General of Internal Security who allowed the arrest of these two individuals."

France since 2015 has endured a series of attacks by militant Islamists that left hundreds dead and pushed the country to its highest level of security alert.

In 2018, a gunman opened fire on a Christmas market in Strasbourg, killing three people and leaving 12 injured.

In Britain, shoppers have been told by police to be extra vigilant about the threat of attacks over the Christmas period.

Counter-terrorism officials raised the threat level from "substantial" to "severe" after an attempted suicide bomb attack on a women's hospital in Liverpool in November that claimed the life of one man, believed to be the suspect.

Updated: December 9th 2021, 9:54 AM