William Molinié / Photo credit: ESRA TASKIN / ANADOLU AGENCY / ANADOLU AGENCY VIA AFP 15:22 p.m., August 21, 2023Several messages broadcast on an online forum dedicated to video games were reported to the Pharos platform this weekend. IP addresses have been located in Saint-Etienne and Algeria. Police are stepping up patrols around the site. The investigation was entrusted to the 3rd Judicial Police District.
While the United Nations commemorates on Monday, August 21, the International Day of Remembrance, in tribute to the victims of terrorism, several suspicious messages were spotted this weekend on an online forum dedicated to video games. Reported to the Pharos platform, then processed by the judicial police, they evoke threats of attack at the Great Mosque of Paris.
Saturday night, at midnight, a first message warned: "I will make a maximum of deaths. I hid bombs in the great mosque of Paris that will explode within the hour. [...] I will avenge my brothers and sisters and cause more deaths than at the Bataclan." After initial research, an IP address was located in the town of Saint-Etienne.
Same modus operandi on Sunday night. Shortly before 18 p.m., a message was published again. Substantially the same, according to information from Europe 1, as that of the day before, the author of the message says to have "hidden an assault rifle" and "a vest of explosives". He added: "My brothers, if you are affected by this attack, forgive me for trying to make things happen in this country."
A host located in Algeria
The IP address would come this time from a host located in Algeria. The country's authorities were asked by French police to try to identify the author of the message. Each time, checks around the Great Mosque of Paris were carried out. Nothing suspicious was spotted. The building's security guards have been sensitized.
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The Paris prosecutor's office has been notified of these "false bomb threats", according to a judicial source. The national unit for the fight against online hate of the Paris judicial court took over and entrusted the investigation to the 3rd judicial police district.
According to information from Europe 1, local police have reinforced patrols and mobile patrols around the site which is in the Jardin des Plantes district in the 5th arrondissement. When contacted, the rector's office was not able to answer our questions.