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France Foils Eiffel Tower And Louvre Terror Plot

French police say they discovered the plot while decrypting coded messages between an Algerian butcher and al-Qaeda.
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jul 10, 2014

​Two of France's most well-known landmarks — the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower — were targets of an alleged Islamic terrorist plot that French officials say they stopped last year. (Via BENH LIEU SONG / CC BY SA 3.0Gloumouth1 / CC BY SA 3.0

French police say they discovered the plot while decrypting coded messages between an Algerian butcher and al-Qaeda. (Via BBC)

Le Parisien newspaper reports 29-year-old Ali Abu Naji asked top al-Queda officials how to conduct jihad in the country. The official suggested targeting nuclear plants, airplanes, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and nightclubs. 

Again — this reportedly would have happened last year, but the French media is just now breaking the story. 

France 24cited "leaked documents" that shared the details of the plot. But it does not say how exactly it got its hands on those documents. 

The Telegraph notes the timing of the news, which "emerged on Wednesday, as the country unveiled new, tougher anti-terror rules."

​On Wednesday, the French Interior Minister presented an anti-terrorism bill that would ban terror suspects from traveling out of the country, and also ban them from websites that recruit radicals. (Via BFMTV)

Interestingly, the BBC's Hugh Schofield points out a potential loophole. 

That's because of the border-less Schengen zone, basically a free travel area which theoretically would allow travel right up to Greece's border with Turkey. (Via Ssolbergj / CC BY SA 3.0

Still — if that bill becomes law, airlines would have to inform authorities when any of the country's terror suspects makes a flight reservation. The legislation would also — according to The Telegraph — allow internet providers to be forced to block websites that feature "Islamist hate propaganda."