French explosives probe: 3rd arrest, contacts with Syria

PARIS (AP) – French authorities said three men in custody in a probe into explosives found in a Paris suburb had talked about wanting to target banks and had spoken by phone with someone in Syria.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said a third man was detained early yesterday after two others were detained the day before. The prosecutor’s office said the men are aged between 36 and 47 but provided no further information.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Francetvinfo yesterday that the men apparently wanted to set off explosives in a bank to steal money and had registered phone calls to unspecified people in Syria.

Authorities found TATP, a peroxide-based explosive that has been employed by militants, in the apartment in the town of Villejuif. A counterterrorism investigation was opened.