Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Paris Olympics.

The French security authorities arrested an 18-year-old accused of preparing for an attack on the spectators slated to attend the soccer games at the forthcoming Paris Olympics in July-August.

While France has beefed up its security level, the interior minister has confirmed that the arrest made was the first of its kind, threatening to target the mega event, as confirmed by the Associated Press.

The national counterterrorism prosecutor’s office of France released a statement to confirm that the accused has been taken into custody till further investigation. He is accused of planning a dangerous attack inspired by the Islamic State group’s jihadist ideology.

As per a report by the Associated Press, the initial investigation has revealed that the man was planning to launch an attack on the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne as the venue is slated to host several football fixtures during the Games.

The Paris Olympics organizing committee confirmed that security is “the highest priority of Paris 2024” and they are working in tandem with the Interior Ministry.

“Security is the highest priority of Paris 2024. We are working daily in close coordination with the Interior Ministry and all stakeholders — and will continue to be fully mobilized,” the Paris Olympics organizing committee said in a statement.

The Canadian women’s soccer team is the reigning defending champion. Canada will open their campaign with a clash against New Zealand on July 25 in Saint-Etienne and will also face the hosts France at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on July 26.

Bev Priestman, the coach of Canada, expressed his concern on the matter and urged the security officials to create a “secure and safe environment” for all the participating athletes.

“That’s a concern to hear, but I think a little bit like in Tokyo, the Olympic Committee, I would imagine that they’re going to step in and I think our faith and trust will be in making it a secure and safe environment for our players,” Priestman was quoted as saying by AP.

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