October 24, 2016

French police question Disneyland gun-carrier but militant links not seen

A general view shows the New York hotel located next to the main entrance of the Disneyland Paris Resort

French police on Friday continued to question a man arrested with handguns and a Koran in his baggage at the Disneyland theme park in Paris but stopped short of calling in anti-terrorism investigators.

France has been in a state of emergency since Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in armed jihadist attacks in Paris on Nov 13.

The 28-year-old man who police say is of European origin was arrested on Thursday as he passed through security scanners at a Disneyland hotel. The guns were found in baggage which also contained a French-language version of the Koran, the principal religious text of Islam.

Police sources said local police in the Meaux region were handling the affair for the moment and France’s anti-terrorism squad had not so far been called in to help.

A woman who had apparently been accompanying the man when he was detained was arrested at her home overnight after initially vanishing. She was also being held for questioning, the sources said.

“Initial findings appear to point clearly to something other than an intention to attack,” one police source told Reuters.

According to another police source, the man said he was carrying the weapons for self-protection.

Islamic State militants, who claimed responsibility for the November attacks, have called for further attacks on France, whose jets are bombing areas they control in Syria and Iraq.

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