Security service says man imprisoned on Ukrainian-Polish border in May had been scheming string of attacks in France

A French man arrested with an arsenal of weapons and explosives has been accused by Ukrainian police of plotting a string of the terrorist attacks before and during Euro 2016.

French police are insisting, however, they have no evidence the 25 -year-old, said to hold far-right ultra-nationalist opinions, was scheming terrorism and suggested he may have been smuggling arms.

We have nothing to confirm or refute a possible terrorist connection … we have asked( the Ukrainians) for more information, a French police spokesperson said on Monday.

Ukraines state security service stopped the man in a white van last month near the border with Poland. Inside the vehicle, they reportedly observed five Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles, two anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades, 5,000 bullets, 100 detonators and 125 kg( 275 lb) of TNT as well as balaclavas.

Ukrainian officials said the man was planning to to be implemented by 15 attacks on bridges, railways, synagogues, mosques, public buildings including taxation offices and motorways.

A video made by Ukrainian security and posted on YouTube purportedly shows the man loading a white van with weapons before being dragged out of the vehicle by soldiers near the Ukraine-Poland checkpoint at Yagodyn. In January 2015, a Ukrainian parliamentary committee described the border post, popular with cigarette smugglers, as the most corrupt in Ukraine.

Ukraines state security services( SBU) said it first noticed the man last December when he allegedly tried to establish ties with Ukrainian troops for the purposes of the guise of volunteering and had set him under surveillance. Ukraine is currently engaged in a conflict with pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country.

The Frenchman spoke negatively about his governments migration policies, the spread of Islam and globalisation, Vassil Hrytsak of the SBU told a press conference in Kiev. He also said he wanted to perpetrate acts of terror in protest.

Hrytsak added: The SBU has succeeded in stopping 15 terrorist attacks that were planned in France just before and during the European football championship.

The
The alleged limbs carry. Photo: SBU

Hrytsak said the man had attained contact with forces in eastern Ukraine. He built contact with the armed forces in the east of the country and promised to help them, but he became more and more interested in how to buy arms and explosives.

He added that after watching the man for several months, he was caught after a sting operation.

The operation lasted almost six months during which we documented every one of his acts and movements. At first we thought it was linked to a classic terrorist organisation. But we stumbled across an organization in France that is unhappy with those in power and was planning to organise a series of attacks during the Euro, he said.

Hrytsak said the SBU had not wanted to reveal the arrest until after the end of the Euro 2016, but the information was leaked to the press.

French police said the man was from the Lorraine region of eastern France and was unknown to Frances police and security service

French local television and LEst-Rpublicain newspaper named the man, but a French police source told the times there was nothing to suggest he was scheming attacks and his motive appeared to be arms trafficking. However, they complained they could say nothing for sure as they had had little concrete information received from the Ukrainian counterparts.

A search of the mans home in the Meuse, eastern France, found nothing including with regard to, French police told AFP, apart from a T-shirt with the logo of an extreme rightwing group.

The Paris-based Central office for the fight against organised crime( OCLCO) and the police in Nancy have opened an organization and asked for the suspect to be sent back to France. An international extradition requests has been sent, but the Ukrainians havent sent us any legal papers for the moment, a French official said.

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An SBU video depicted the moment of arrest on the border with Poland. Photo: SBU

The French authorities are deploying 90,000 soldiers, police, gendarmes and security guards for the football tournament, which opens on Friday. France is under an ongoing emergency situations following the series of bombings and shootings in Paris last November, and on high alert for attacks on Paris and other cities where matches are being held.

Islamic State members, including Saleh Abdeslam, who is in prison in France awaiting trial on his connection with the November attacks, are thought to have been planning to reached the tournament.

Interviewed by France Inter radio on Sunday, the French president, Franois Hollande, acknowledged Euro 2016 was a security hazard. The menace exists even if we mustnt let ourselves be intimidated. We have make absolutely sure this Euro 2016 is a success, he said.

Hollande added he hoped the championship would be a popular, sporting European party.

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