Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Man held over 'imminent' France terror plot wanted in Belgium

"The security forces are mobilized everywhere across France to ensure the security of French people and to ensure the presidential campaign goes smoothly", he said.

France's membership of the European Union has undermined the nation's sovereignty, infringed its economy, and hindered the government's ability to defend its own population, French far-rights presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Wednesday. "We are not afraid", he said, according to AP. The suspects, aged 23 and 29, were arrested by French domestic intelligence service agents in the southern city of Marseille on Tuesday.The French Interior Minister said the "radicalised" men meant to strike "in the next few days in France".

The presidential election is being watched as a bellwether for global populist sentiment, in large part because of Le Pen's nationalist, anti-immigration positions.

He said ten of the 11 candidates wanted to take France back to a "fantasy of the past". "The reality is that immigration is massive in our country and that migration flood that we are experiencing is not a fantasy", Le Pen told RTL radio on Tuesday, when fleshing out details of the moratorium announcement.

A tip-off from another country had said Merabet was likely to carry out a violent act and was seeking to make contact with Islamic State, either to pledge allegiance to the group or ask it to claim responsibility for the planned attack, Molins said. Since then, more than 230 people have been killed by terrorists in France.

The suspects, Mahiedine Merabet, 29 and Clement Baur, 23, were both detained under arrest warrants for terrorist criminal association, according to a police document obtained by The Associated Press. "The campaign must continue until the end".

Polls also showed showed conservative Francois Fillon and far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon still a few percentage points away from Le Pen and Macron.

All of the Cevipof findings were broadly in line with recent polling trends that show the race to be very tight. "We are not afraid", Melenchon said during a rally in Dijon.

France's fight against home-grown and overseas Islamic extremism has been one of the main campaign topics for presidential candidates.

With the terror threat "higher than ever", Fekl said "everything is being done" to secure the election, the candidates, their election headquarters and rallies.

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