Nytt

To menn, Cleméntin B og Mahiedine M, ble tirsdag pågrepet i Marseilles, mistenkt for terror. I leiligheten fant politiet våpen og flere kilo sprengstoff. Politiet sier et angrep var nær forestående.

Både Emmanuel Macron og Marine Le Pen ble advart om de to sist uke, og fikk bilder av de to,  men politiet vil ikke si hvem terroristenes planer var rettet mot. Marine Le Pen skal holde valgmøte i Marseilles onsdag kveld.

Det kan være flere grunner til at politiet ikke vil oppgi hvilken av kandidatene som var målet. En av dem kan være at det vil vekke sympati blant velgerne. Francois Hollande sa før valgkampen kom i gang at han kom til å gjøre alt for at Marine Le Pen ikke ble valgt.

Nå opplyser Gavin Mortimer i en blogg på Spectator at det likevel ikke var Le Pen, men Francois Fillon, som var målet:

………according to police sources the intended target was François Fillon.

De to traff hverandre i fengsel og politiet var kjent med at de var blitt radikalisert bak murene.

Statsadvokaten i Paris med særlig ansvar for terrorsaker, Francois Molins:

Mr. Molins said the two men met in prison in 2015 and were known to French intelligence services for their “radicalization.”

At the apartment the two men rented in Marseille, investigators found several firearms and rounds of ammunition, as well as bomb-making material and three kilograms of explosives.

Arrestasjonene gjør naturlig nok langt større inntrykk i Frankrike enn i utlandet. De to jihadistene ønsket åpenbart å påvirke valget. Molins sa de forsøkte å kommunisere med IS direkte:

Mr. Molins said that French intelligence services “intercepted” a video last week that one of the men had been trying to transmit to the Islamic State. It showed a submachine gun, a black Islamic State flag and the front page of a newspaper that featured a picture of one of the candidates, who was not identified.

Fillon – katolsk

Grunnen til at Fillon er vel så hatet som Le Pen er at han ikke har lagt skjul på at han er katolsk og vil forsvare de kristne i Midtøsten, mens Le Pen tvert imot har villet holde Frankrike utenfor konfliktene i regionen.

Romain Caillet, an expert on Middle East politics, told Le Figaro on Wednesday that it’s not just Fillon’s anti-Sunni rhetoric that makes him a target for Islamic State but the fact he ‘is also the candidate who defends most vigorously the Christians in the Middle East’. The National Front leader, in contrast, has said she has no wish to interfere in Middle Eastern politics and she has also attacked Fillon’s references to his religion, describing it as ‘contrary to our [French] values’.

Fillon suffers from no such insularity. In the book he wrote last year, Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism, he said that in the first six months of 2016 Islamic terrorists carried out 550 attacks around the world, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,000 people. ‘If we don’t halt this infernal situation now, then we will be plunged into a third world war,’ he wrote in his conclusion. ‘This perilous situation requires courage, determination but also calm and force of character to not give in to provocation.’

Forberedt på det verste

Den nye innenriksministeren Mathias Fekl sa de har mobilisert maksimalt for å forhindre terror før valget. Han sa faren var større enn noen gang. Ministeren er nok klar over at terror tett opp til første runde kan påvirke utfallet.

He also said that his ministry was “completely mobilized, more than ever,” to protect campaign rallies as well as the candidates and their headquarters.

Over 50,000 police officers, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed across France to secure the two rounds of voting, on Sunday and on May 7, when a runoff between the two top vote-getters will be held.

Oppgaven med å bevokte valg-avviklingen er formidabel. Det er 67.000 valglokaler.