French police seek 3 men suspected in Paris attack plot

PARIS (AP) — French police searched Tuesday for three men suspected of plotting an Islamic State group-inspired attack after authorities conducted a major operation at a Paris train station.

A ticket vendor in the northern town of Valenciennes thought she recognized one of the three men listed on police wanted notices on social networks. That prompted the police operation and the temporary closure of one of Paris’ main transit hubs, the Gare du Nord, late Monday. No arrests have been made.

Rocco Contento of Unite SGP police union told The Associated Press the vendor informed police. Two other police officers confirmed the information to The Associated Press on customary condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

The three suspects have been identified by police as Belgian citizens Bilal Al Marchohi and Tarik Jadaoun, and Afghan national Zabihullah Sarwari.

The busy Gare du Nord — the terminus of a large suburban and national rail network as well as the hub for Eurostar trains from London — was evacuated after 11 p.m. on Monday night as officers from the special BRI intervention force started pouring into the station.

A security perimeter was established and all passengers on the train from Valenciennes were taken to a nearby brasserie to be searched, Contento said.

“Unfortunately it was determined that the person was not in the train,” Contento said.

Police said the operation went smoothly and ended early Tuesday.

The operation came the day after a tense presidential election won by independent Emmanuel Macron, who has said one of his top priorities will be ensuring France’s security.

France remains under a state of emergency imposed after a series of Islamic extremist attacks in 2015.