France open terror probe after foiled assault

France opened a formal investigation earlier this week into a foiled terrorist assault targeting police, in which four suspects were involved, authorities have said.

Prosecutors said the four individuals, who were arrested in connection with the plot, were handed over on Tuesday to a court in Paris.

The four suspects had planned “a violent act of violence in the near future” against police officers, national news daily Le Figaro reported, citing a source close to the investigation.

The suspects were arrested on April 26 after a preliminary investigation launched by the Paris prosecutor’s office on Feb. 1 into criminal association and terrorist conspiracy.

France has become a major target of frequent terrorist attacks following its military operations in Syria, Iraq and North Africa’s Sahel region. The bloodiest attack in Paris involving a series of explosives and shootings left 130 victims in November 2015.

In October 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron signed an anti-terrorism law to beef up domestic security and thus combat the terrorism menace.

The bill enshrines emergency security rules into ordinary laws, enabling police to have more power to search, arrest without judicial approval and restrict large gatherings.