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Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump: French Police Thwart Bastille Day Assassination Plot

Updated on July 27, 2017
Stephen Sinclair profile image

Stephen Sinclair is a freelance Canadian writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.

The Champs-Élysées in Paris, France.
The Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. | Source

Planned to harm 'blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals'

On July 14, Bastille Day, French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to host U.S. President Donald Trump as a the "guest of honor" at parade to be held on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The plans of a 23-year-old far-right French nationalist to assassinate President Macron, and make a political statement, on the national French holiday have been stopped, according to reports from CNN.

The young man behind the plan, who is said to live in Argenteuil, a community near Paris, has been quoted stating a desire to caused harm to "blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals." He is said to have been convicted previously of "terror related activity."

According to The Local, the man was reported to have first come to the attention of police after making his intentions known in an internet chat room, where he was said to have stated a desire to "get hold of a Kalashnikov to commit an attack."

Other users in the chat room were reported to have made reports to authorities. The suspect, who, according to the Daily Beast, does not appear to have been identified, was said to have conducted internet searches that led authorities to believe that an attack was being planned. Three knives were also said to be found in the far-right nationalist's car. Further, after being questioned by police, the man was said to have admitted that he was indeed planning an assassination attempt on President Macron.

"His plot remains vague but he indicated he wanted to attack minorities. He appeared to have been inspired by previous mass shootings including the Colombine massacre," a French source familiar with the case told The Local.

Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower.
Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower. | Source

Inquired about firearm purchase in chat room

The 23-year-old is reported to have been arrested last Wednesday, though his plans were only made public to French citizens over the weekend. When chatting about his intentions to carry out an attack on the internet, the Daily Beast states that the suspect inquired about where to purchase a gun.

The man's previous involvement with terrorist-related activity is said to be related to his praise for Norwegian murderer Anders Breivik, who took the lives of 77 in 2011. Though his identity is still not known publicly, he was said to have been convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, but to have only served half that after his sentence was suspended. The Local notes that an assassination attempt was carried out on former President Jacques Chirac on Bastille Day 2002 by Maxime Brunerie, described as a "neo-Nazi sympathizer."

Bastille Day is held up as a "turning point in world history." The day remembers the storming of the Bastille in 1789, an event that marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

A political outsider, who had never run for office before, French President Emmanuel Macron took office in mid-May. Cenk Uygur, with The Young Turks, has discussed how the French president, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, took to planning out their handshakes with U.S. President Donald Trump in advance, because of the reputation the American has gained for his unwieldy greetings, which former Trump aide Sam Nunberg described as "symbolic to the America First theme of his presidency and campaign."

Thirty-nine-year-old Emmanuel Macron is described by the BBC as a "centrist," and by Cenk Uygur as a "left-wing/centrist." Leading up the election some observers felt that right-winger Marine La Pen with the National Front had a real shot at winning. In the end, Macron's new La République en Marche won 32.5 percent of the vote, with La Pen and the National Front trailing far behind, with 13.2 percent. Uygur called the win by Macron and the new party "amazing," given that it is the first time the French people have elected a "non-establishment party."

The TYT founder explained his belief that, "People don't want the establishment anymore," listing many examples from around the world. He expressed the view that there were lessons to be learned for U.S. Democrats from Macron's success.

© 2017 Stephen Sinclair

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