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France

Franco-Moroccan jihadist charged with planning new attack in France

media The ruins of the Syrian town of Kobane after Kurdish militias retook it from Islamic State AFP

A suspected jihadist, who had been jailed for travelling to fight in Syria, has been charged with plotting an attack in France. French-Moroccan Youssef Ettaoujar was believed to be in contact with the Islamic State (IS) armed group, according to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Ettaoujar, 28, was charged on Sunday with involvement in a terror plot, repeat offending, fraud and breaking the conditions of his house arrest, imposed under the state of emergency declared after the 13 November Paris attacks.

He was arrested on Wednesday along with three other people who were later released.

At the time Cazeneuve said he was suspected of being in contact with IS and sources say that he may have had a credit line to finance an attack in France.

Ettaoujar was arrested in 2012 on his return from Syria and jailed in 2014, despite his claim that he had gone to "film the sorrow" of the Syrian people.

He and his companions - Fares Farsi and Salah-Eddine Gourmat - were found to have a revolver, night-vision goggles, camouflage clothing and tactical vests in their possession on arrival at Saint-Etienne airport on central France.

He was released in October.

No weapons, apart from an unused Kalashnikov cartridge, were found during Wednesday's raid.

Investigators have not been able to establish the exact nature of his plan but "a certain number of elements ... indicate his intentions", a source told the Reuters news agency.

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