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Friday, February 10, 2017

French Police Avoid Catastrophe, Arrest Teen Girl, 3 Others in Suspected Terror Plot

By Eric DuVall, UPI

Residents stand outside an apartment building in the southern region of Montpellier, France, where four terror suspects were taken into custody on Friday. French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux confirmed four people have detained by French anti-terrorism forces found bomb-making materials. Photo by Alexandre Dimou/EPA

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- French police arrested four individuals, including a 16-year-old girl, on suspicion of plotting a suicide attack on an unnamed tourist destination, prosecutors said Friday.

The arrests came in the southern Montpellier region of France, after police raided an apartment belonging to the group. In addition to the teenage girl, three men ages 20, 23 and 26 were taken into custody in two more raids in the area.

An apartment in Clapiers, near Montpellier, where a terrorism suspect was arrested by French police.

Anti-terrorism officials said they seized a homemade explosive known as TATP, along with the three chemical ingredients used to create the explosive powder, in a makeshift laboratory in the apartment. The explosives were the same as the kind used in the 2015 Paris attack and last year's bombing at the airport in Brussels. Police were led to the suspects after they purchased acetone, one of the chemicals in TATP.

Police said the teen girl had made jihadist declarations online, including threats to carry out a terrorist attack in France and had pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State, the BBC reported.