A Russian-Ukrainian Man Is Suspected Of Plotting A Terrorist Bombing In France

PARIS (AP) — A Russian-Ukrainian citizen was given preliminary terrorism charges Friday in France and accused of plotting a bombing, prosecutors said.

The 26-year-old man was detained in a hotel north of Paris on Monday, and investigators are searching for possible accomplices, the national counterterrorism prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The arrest came the day before U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in France, and three days before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in France. Both were in the country for commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings and meetings with the French president.

It was unclear whether the alleged plot was linked to the the war in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and France have become increasingly tense in recent months over the conflict.

Prosecutors said the suspect suffered serious burn injuries after an explosive device detonated in his hotel room, and was treated for his injuries before being handed over to France’s domestic intelligence agency for questioning.

The statement said the man was presented to an investigating judge on Friday who filed preliminary charges for participation in a terrorist group planning criminal attacks, and for possession of explosives materials aimed at preparing an attack in connection with a terrorist group.

The man, who was not identified, arrived in France a few days before his arrest. French media reported that he was born in Donbas, a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine, and had served in the Russian army.

Also this week, Russia’s top state criminal investigation agency announced the arrest of a French citizen accused of collecting information on military issues.

France is also seeing a spate of unusual incidents believed linked to Russia and Ukraine.