Reports: Terrorists planned attack at Euro 2016 soccer tournament

Reports: Terrorists planned attack at Euro 2016 soccer tournament
© Getty

A suspect in the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks told investigators his cell planned to target the Euro 2016 soccer championships in France, according to multiple reports.

Citing an unidentified source, CNN said Monday that investigators are working to verify the claim by Mohamed Abrini.

ADVERTISEMENT

Abrini was one of several people arrested Friday in raids in Belgium. Once in custody, he confessed to being the “man in the hat” seen in surveillance footage leaving the Brussels airport moments before bombs went off there last month.

He was also linked to the November attacks in Paris. He was seen driving toward Paris, along with suspected terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested days before the Brussels attacks.

 “It’s hardly a scoop to learn that the terrorists were hoping to attack during the Euro,” an unidentified police officer told the French newspaper Libération. “The security forces are always examining possible attack scenarios to know how to respond.” 

The Euro 2016 tournament is scheduled for June 10 to July 10 in cities across France. It’s one of the biggest international sporting events in the world, with 24 teams competing.

Fears about security at the tournament have been raised since the attacks in Paris. One of the bombings was outside the French national stadium during a soccer game between France and Germany. The attackers reportedly tried to enter the stadium but were stopped by security.

In addition to the tournament, investigators found evidence on a computer indicating a shopping mall in Paris and a Catholic association were also potential targets, CNN and Libération reported.