France terror suspect claims he thwarted church attack

2015-06-20 07:15
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - An Algerian man accused of murdering a woman and planning an attack on a church on the southern edge of Paris claimed in court on Friday he had actually foiled the terror plot, his lawyers said.

"He admitted he was in Villejuif on April 19 2015, with another individual. However, he denies responsibility for the death of Aurelie Chatelain and also affirms he thwarted an attack on that day," his lawyers told AFP, without specifying who the other individual they referred to was.

Sid Ahmed Ghlam, 24, was taken into custody on April 19 after he accidentally shot himself in the leg, a fluke occurrence that led police to uncovering an alleged plot against a church in the Villejuif suburb.

Ghlam's hearing was his first before an investigating judge since his arrest, the lawyers said.

In April, police said they found an arsenal of weapons, tactical gear and cellphones in Ghlam's car and student flat, but the suspect has consistently denied all the accusations he faces.

Investigators say they uncovered detailed plans to attack churches and linked Ghlam's DNA to the murder of Chatelain, a young mother who was found shot dead in the passenger seat of her car.

Security sources said the killing may have resulted from an attempt to steal the 32-year-old victim's car.

Paris prosecutors say they found documents at his residence about al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, and that he had been in touch with a possible jihadist in Syria to ask him how to attack a church.

With the country a prime target of the ISIS, which has singled France out in several videos, fears are running high that those who return radicalised from Syria or Iraq may carry out attacks in Europe.

Suspected of helping Ghlam with logistics, three other men are also currently under investigation. They say they had no knowledge of a terror plot.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.