Reda Kriket: Main suspect charged in connection with foiled Paris attack plot

French national charged after six days of questioning by police

French gendarmes patrol in the Paris hall of Justice while Reda Kriket is being questioned by a magistrate who then filed preliminary terror charges
French gendarmes patrol in the Paris hall of Justice while Reda Kriket is being questioned by a magistrate who then filed preliminary terror charges

The main suspect in a foiled Paris attack plot has been charged, according to reports.

Reda Kriket was arrested in a suburb of the French capital last week for allegedly being "in the advanced stages" of plotting an attack with what prosecutors called an "unprecedented" arsenal of explosives.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said Kriket is accused of being part of a terrorist group with plans for at least one attack, possessing and transporting arms and explosives, and holding fake documents, among other charges.

Kriket will stay in custody while magistrates continue investigating the case and determine whether to send him to trial.

Kriket is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2014 and 2015 and made several trips between France and Belgium and the Netherlands, Mr Molins said.

Authorities found a large quantity of explosives and weapons in Kriket's apartment in the north west of the city during the raid on 24 March.

Two Algerians, believed to be linked to plot are being held in Brussels and another unnamed Frenchman is being detained in the Dutch city of Rotterdam but is fighting his extradition to France to face terror charges.

Belgium's federal prosecutors' office said on Wednesday that the Algerian men, identified as Abderrahmane A. and Rabah M., will face a hearing on 7 April.

Kriket repeatedly refused to answer questions during six days of interrogation by anti-terror police, according to French newspaper 20 minutes.

He was also sentenced in absentina in July 2015 in Belgium alongside the Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud for helping to run a network that recruited jihadis to travel to Syria to fight for Isis.

Although he had prior convictions for violence and theft he is believed to have no known connections to terror prior to last year.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Kriket's arrest came after several weeks of investigation before the terror attacks in Brussels on 22 March which left 35 people dead and over 200 wounded.

He congratulated French and Dutch police for "foiling an attack on our soil", CNN reports.

Additional reporting by agencies

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