No fairy tale, this: Cops arrest guest carrying guns, ammo at Disneyland Paris hotel - Firstpost
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No fairy tale, this: Cops arrest guest carrying guns, ammo at Disneyland Paris hotel


Paris: A man carrying two handguns, ammunition and a Quran was arrested Thursday at the Disneyland resort outside Paris, with the city still on edge after a devastating jihadist attack left 130 dead in November.

The man was "detected upon his arrival at the hotel on the Disneyland site where he had a reservation. Hotel security found two handguns, a Koran and ammunition on him," the source said.

Disneyland Paris said the guns were picked up by routine scanning of the man's bags at the hotel entrance.

A police source said preliminary investigations did not point to terrorism, and that the man had said he was carrying the guns because he feared for his safety.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle, background, at Disneyland Paris. AP

Sleeping Beauty's Castle, background, at Disneyland Paris. AP

France is on high alert after November's attacks saw gunmen and suicide bombers target cafes, a concert venue and the Stade de France national stadium, leaving 130 dead and hundreds wounded.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage.

In Thursday's incident, police arrested the suspect and secured his vehicle.

They then arrested a woman, believing her to be his girlfriend, but released her after realising they had the wrong person, one of the police sources said.

Papers found on the suspect indicated that he lived in Paris, but no further details were given. His girlfriend was still being sought.

The scene unfolded at the Art Deco-style New York hotel near the theme park, which is situated about 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of the French capital.

"Police were immediately warned and the individual was arrested. We are continuing to work closely with the authorities and the safety of our visitors and employees is our top priority," a spokesman for Disneyland Paris, Francois Banon, said in a statement.

France and Belgium high alert

Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe, with 14.8 million visitors in 2015, according to Euro Disney's annual report.

The suspect was the joint manager of a brasserie in Paris's 14th arrondissement, according to a source close to the investigation.

Staff and regulars there expressed astonishment at his arrest.

"For me it's a mistake," a member of the bar staff told AFP by telephone, adding that the phone had been "ringing every two seconds" since the news.

"Honestly, I'm taken aback. It's a joke," added the other co-manager.

The November Paris attack was the second major attack in France in a year, as the country has become a prime target for the jihadist group operating out of Iraq and Syria.

A Belgian court on Thursday cited security concerns as it adjourned the appeal hearing of several people — some linked to key figures in the Paris attacks — against jail terms for recruiting fighters for Syria.

Judicial sources said the decision appeared to reflect concerns about personal protection for the judges as Belgium remains on high alert after the Paris killings, with armed troops patrolling the streets and guarding key buildings and institutions.

In January 2015, a series of attacks in Paris over three days left 17 people dead, including at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

France imposed a three-month state of emergency after the November attacks, which President Francois Hollande hopes to extend for another three months despite fierce opposition from rights activists.

AFP

First Published On : Jan 29, 2016 16:33 IST

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