French Authority Takes Credit for Stopping an Attack That Was Never Even Planned

Petr Kovalenkov /
Petr Kovalenkov /

Over Easter weekend, the country of France found itself looking eerily reminiscent of 80 years ago as 13,500 police officers were deployed across the nation. Charged with guarding 4,350 religious locations, the word was they were there to prevent or respond to an alleged terror attack that was in the works.

So convinced that something was going on, Deputy minister for democratic renewal and spokesman for the French government Prisca Thevenot praised the officers for their actions while providing an update. “Thanks to this mobilization, we were able to stop an attempt to take action. Because yes, there are attempts to take action, and thanks to the mobilization of these men and women on a daily basis, we can avoid tragedies. This action was avoided last weekend.”

With the words coming out of her mouth members of the French government reeled back in horror. There had been no attack that they prevented. As her press conference continued, Thevenot’s office began walking back her statements. Insisting that she simply made a mistake, they claimed she was mistaken with the arrest of an Egyptian national the month prior who had ties to ISIS.

Initially reported on March 5th, the 62-year-old was arrested over his plans to attack the Paris Notre Dame cathedral. Facing charges of “criminal terrorist association,” he now will be looking at a terrorism trial and is one of five such trials to be scheduled recently in France for Islamic State members.

By the end of her press conference, even Thevenot had begun correcting herself and trying to save face. “No attack was foiled this weekend… I did not say that it was an attempted terrorist attack… I was certainly not clear.”