French Counter-Terrorism Agency Thwarts 'Plot to Overthrow Genocidal Government'
12:02 GMT 28.10.2021 (Updated: 17:24 GMT 28.10.2021)
© Sputnik / Dominic ButenSituation in Paris in connection with the coronavirus pandemic
© Sputnik / Dominic Buten/
Earlier this year, scores of French servicemen signed a letter warning Paris of a "civil war" brewing in society due to lax security and counter-extremism policies. The French authorities, however, rebuffed their claims and condemned those who signed the open letter.
The French General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) has thwarted a plot to overthrow the government orchestrated by former lawmaker and ex-member of the party Democratic Movement, Rémy Daillet, Le Parisien has reported.
According to the newspaper, Daillet concocted an ambitious plan to seize the Elysee Palace and form a new "people's" government using a crew of coup plotters. In an anonymous warning, the ex-lawmaker reportedly sent to former colleagues, Daillet claimed that "the Republic [was] no longer the dominant idea" in France and that it was high time to overthrow the nation's "genocidal" government.
Le Parisien claimed that at least 300 people joined Daillet's cause, with their ideological views ranging from anti-vaxxers to neo-Nazis. He recruited current and former gendarmes, servicemen (including a retired lieutenant-colonel awarded the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit), lawyers, and even a chemistry professor. The organisation was reportedly highly structured: the ex-lawmaker appointed "captains" of certain French regions, who then directed the actions of local cells.
Some of them planned to engage in several diversions, Le Parisien said – set fire to suspected 5G telecommunication masts, vaccination centres, and warehouse with stocks of COVID-19 jabs. They also reportedly took part in the Yellow Vests raid on BFMTV in September 2020 and even planned to intimidate and attack journalists they saw as "hostile" to their cause.
Daillet repeatedly denounced vaccination as being a "genocide" of the nation on his YouTube channel. However, his lawyer insists that the charges against the ex-lawmaker of establishing a "criminal terrorist association" are unsubstantiated.
Popular Protests and Blood on the Streets
According to the newspaper citing the DGSI investigation, Daillet and his fellow plotters hoped to destabilise society just enough to spark popular protests in the capital. At that moment, "Operation Azur" was supposed to start: members of the organisation from French regions were to come to Paris in order to help instigate unrest and seize key points in the city, including the Elysee, the Ministry of Defence, as well as a TV broadcaster or a radio station, Le Parisien claimed.
Some of the plotters were meant to be armed with police shields and improvised explosive devices – a chemistry professor in their ranks provided them with a recipe for an ammonium nitrate bomb, the newspaper revealed. They, however, were not supposed to shed the first blood – Daillet reportedly expected the overwhelmed police and security forces to do it after a series of provocations. After that – the participants of the coup would get the "open fire" order, Le Parisien said.
10 May, 07:33 GMT
The coup, however, failed to materialise due to the DGSI setting its gaze on the secretive organisation, which used VPNs and encrypted messaging. Le Parisien claims that two matters garnered the attention of the security agency: an address from a single French lawmaker, who reacted to Daillet's anonymous email threat and the kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl, Mia, in the spring of 2020 by members of the conspiratorial group.
French authorities have already charged 12 members of Daillet's group and are continuing to investigate others. Rémy Daillet himself was arrested in June 2021 on charges of instigating Mia's kidnapping. He denies plotting to overthrow the government.