Machete, knives and gas found in French passenger's bag

Machete, knives and gas found in French passenger's bag
French airport security called into question as a passenger is found with prohibited items - after arriving in Morocco.
2 min read
11 March, 2016
France issued a state of emergency following the deadly attacks in November [Getty]
A Frenchman carrying a machete, knives and a gas bottle in his luggage was arrested by airport security after arriving in Morocco on Sunday.

Manuel Broustail was found with the items, including a black balaclava, despite heightened security procedures in France where he began his journey.

The 31-year-old former soldier, who had previously been under house arrest in France, was expelled from the army after allegedly "becoming radicalised" while on a mission in Djibouti.

Broustail returned to Angers, western France, and became the leader of a militant group where he organised "paramilitary-style training exercises", according to French intelligence agents.

He was arrested and placed under house arrest shortly after the deadly Paris attacks in November.

But authorities said Broustail was free when he checked in for his Ryanair flight for Morocco, and suggested there was no reason to stop him leaving the country.

The news comes just weeks after France voted to extend its state of emergency following the attacks.

The emergency law allows the interior minister to place any person whose behaviour is considered "a threat to security and public order" under house arrest and to order searches of homes at any hour - without involving a court.

Since November, around 3,340 searches have been conducted and 578 weapons seized.

More than 340 people have been taken into custody and 285 house arrests are currently being enforced.

Since the beginning of the year, 40 people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in networks making threats or praising terrorism, Cazeneuve said.

The Dublin-based carrier Ryanair told AFP the case was "the responsibility of Nantes airport security officials, who are investigating".