Eleven members of the French ultra-right Patriot Vengeance group taken into custody

By David Coffey with RFI
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MAY 19, 2022 LISTEN
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Eleven people from the ultra-right wing group "Patriot Vengeance" have been arrested and placed in police custody on suspision of planning to carry out violent attacks.

According to Le Parisien daily newspaper, the arrests were made at the request of an investigating magistrate as part of a judicial inquiry that opened in December by the anti-terrorist prosecutor's office.

A preliminary investigation had previously been opened in April 2021.

According sources close to the case, the eleven arrests targeted people  between the ages of 17 and 30 and were carried out "mainly in the Paris region".

During the searches, documents and "ultra-right ideology" were found, but no weapons.

As part of the judicial investigation, Lucas S. - presented by in the French media as the leader of "Patriot Vengeance" - was remanded in December for "provocation by means of online communication to an act of terrorism" as well as for "public apology for acts of terrorism" and "unauthorised possession of category B weapons and ammunition"

He was placed in custody ahead of his trial.
However, investigators have reportedly not established any plans for violent acts at this stage of their inquiry, and therefore Lucas S. has not been indicted on terrorist conspiracy charges. 

Passion for Fascism

Born in 1995, Lucas S. is suspected of having hosted a website and rallied groups with anti-Semitic and conspiracy ideologies.  

On its website, "Patriot Revenge" presents itself as "a community of brothers in arms" preparing for societal collapse, advocating "sports training" and "survivalism".

According to the news website Streetpress, its members exchange "racist remarks" on a daily basis and some of its adherents reportedly "do not even hide their passion for fascism." 

The group, however, denies any links to Nazi ideology. 

Since 2017, a dozen court proceedings linked to the ultra-right have been opened at the Paris anti-terrorist centre - a threat that has been gaining momentum and "taken very seriously," according to a Parisian anti-terrorist magistrate. 

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