Paris terror plot: Man arrested in 'advanced stages' of plan to attack French capital

The French interior minister said the Frenchman was implicated at a 'high level' in the plot

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The Independent Online

A man has been arrested in the "advanced stages" of a plot to attack Paris, the French interior minister has said.

Bernard Cazeneuve said the man was arrested in a raid in Argenteuil, on the northern outskirts of the capital, after security forces locked down the area during a major search. Bomb squads are present to deal with potential expolosives.

He said the suspect was a French national and was implicated at a "high level" in the plot. He added that he had been under surveillance by police for several months. 

Witnesses told France's i-Tele network the immediate area had been locked down and residents were unable to return home.

The interior minister said there were no links "at this stage" between the plan and the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The arrest came two days after suicide bombers attacked Brussels Airport and a metro train, killing at least 31 and wounding over 270 people.

France has been on high alert since the 13 November attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and injured hundreds.

Mr Cazeneuve said there had been 75 arrests since the beginning of the year and 28 suspects had been jailed.

Additional reporting by AP