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An Islamist plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and a nuclear power plant has been foiled according to French police.
Officers stumbled on the plans made up of a series of coded messages between a 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in the south of France known as Ali M and a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The member of al-Qaeda was known online as Redouane18.
Le Parisien newspaper reported that in April last year the married father-of-two was contacted by his al-Qaeda contact.
Ali M suggested targeting nuclear power plants, ‘planes at the moment of take-off’ and French landmarks which included the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum in Paris.
He even suggested targeting people in market or nightclubs as well as cultural events which attract
thousands of Christians.
According to The Telegraph, he wrote: ‘The mainways become black with people and a simple grenade can injure dozens of people, not to mention a booby trapped device’, he said.
The al-Qaeda member advised Ali M to fly to Algeria where he could benefit from combat training.
However, the Algerian was arrested last June – a month before he was due to fly to Tunisia and then to Algeria.
According to the man’s lawyers he was brainwashed.
Last month French police arrested Mehdi Nemmouche, a French jihadist who fought in Syria, and allegedly killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May after travelling back to Europe.