Armed police arrested a 37-year-old British man at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel into Great Britain who is suspected of being an ISIS terrorist.
An arrest warrant was issued against him this morning when detectives continued to question him in custody.
He was arrested Wednesday in the UK control zone in Coquelles, France, as part of a pre-planned operation by officers from the MPS Counter Terrorism Command.
However, London-based advocacy group CAGE has insisted that the man – whose identity is not known – is in fact a British helper.
He was said to be helping the police with their investigation, did nothing wrong and recently won a battle to keep his British citizenship.
Trucks arrive in the zone through a Eurotunnel channel tunnel in Coquelles, France
The managing director Muhammad Rabbani said: “He is an experienced helper with many years of experience in international relief work. Without initial judicial review, he was stripped of his citizenship and exiled without regard to due process.
“We welcome this result with cautious optimism for the hundreds of other British nationals who have been deprived of their basic citizenship through” secret evidence “. This case shows the extent to which such executive powers are being abused.”
A Met police spokesman confirmed the arrest in France, adding: “He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist preparation and membership of a banned organization and was detained under police and criminal law.
“While he was in police custody, he was detained under the Terrorism Act 2000.”
A female police officer in France was killed by a knife man who was subsequently shot
Rambouillet is a quiet community southwest of Paris and known for its famous castle
The Met police refused to comment on the identity of the man he lived with prior to his trip or the circumstances surrounding the arrest.
The officers were able to make the arrest after receiving information that their suspect would be at the location.
The counterterrorism authorities have previously raised concerns about the specter of British nationals trying to return to the UK after fighting in Syria.
The number of Brits who had gone there was estimated at one point to be 1,500.
This latest arrest comes as France steps up security after threats from terrorist groups like ISIS increased during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“Syrian intelligence agencies have drawn attention to foreigners entering France to carry out their deadly missions,” a source from security services in Paris said.
“There have been some very serious terrorist attacks in France in the past few days and security is being increased to meet the threat.”
According to the source, Ramadan was a time that groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda “routinely exploit for maximum publicity.”
When asked if terrorists would likely travel across France to reach destinations in the UK, the source said, “Of course this is always a strong possibility.”
He said “information from the British is being made fully available to French colleagues” and it is likely that information shared would have been used prior to the last arrest.
France is widely seen as an easy entry point for jihadists from North Africa and the Middle East, who can then travel to other European countries and the UK with relative ease.
The French are particularly concerned about potential foreign killers traveling across European borders to carry out atrocities.
Last Friday, a radicalized Tunisian national stabbed a policewoman in Rambouillet, on the outskirts of Paris, before being shot by officers himself.
Jamel Gorchene came to France in 2009 and lived illegally in the country for a full decade before getting a temporary permit last year.
Gorchene was originally from M’saken, the same city in northeastern Tunisia as Mohammed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who drove a truck to the promenade in Nice in southern France in 2016 and killed 86 people.
ISIS videos are known to have radicalized both men and Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, the Russian immigrant of Chechen background who beheaded a school teacher in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine last October.