Story highlights

  • The French citizen was detained in late May on the border with Poland
  • An arsenal of weapons and explosives including rocket launchers and Kalashnikov assault rifles recovered
  • A French foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the arrest

Ukraine has detained a Frenchman suspected of planning a series of attacks across France during the forthcoming European 2016 football championship, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said.

The man came to Ukraine under the guise of volunteering to fight in the conflict in the country's east and managed to obtain 125kg of TNT, five assault rifles, two anti-tank grenade launchers and ammunition, the SBU said on Monday.

The man planned to blow up bridges and highway infrastructure in various parts of France, as well as a tax collection office, a mosque, a synagogue and public areas to be used for the football championship, the statement said.


Watch: Backlash - France's New Hard Line on Terror


The security services said the unidentified man wanted to carry out 15 attacks in total. 

"The Frenchman expressed opposition towards his government allowing mass immigration into France, as well as the spread of Islam," the statement said.

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 July 10.

Armed groups have threatened France during the tournament, but authorities have not confirmed specific dangers.

The man reportedly planned to blow up infrastructure that will be used for the Euro 2016 [Reuters]

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.

Three suicide bombers tried to enter the Stade de France, the country's national stadium, in November last year during the Paris attacks. The country has since been under a state of emergency.

Ukrainian authorities released photos of a fair-haired man, with his face blurred, holding various weapons.

Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies