France foils terrorist plot to topple Eiffel Tower
FRANCE foiled an Islamist terrorist plot to target the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and a nuclear power plant, as the country unveiled tougher anti-terrorism laws.
Police stumbled on the plans after decrypting coded messages between a 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in the Vaucluse, southern France, known only as Ali M, and a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).
According to Le Parisien newspaper, the married father of two was asked by his Aqim contact in April last year to make "suggestions concerning how to conduct jihad in the place you are currently".
Ali M suggested targeting nuclear power plants, "planes at the moment of take-off", and a number of landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum in Paris.
Failing that, he suggested attacks on "the modest and poor French population" in markets or nightclubs, as well as police patrols.