By Sebastian Shukla and Laura Smith-Spark
PHILADELPHIA (CNN)–Five suspects in custody after police raids last weekend had pledged allegiance to ISIS and were being directed to attack France by ISIS members in the Middle East, French prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday.
The suspects’ plans were communicated by encrypted messages from ISIS members in Iraq and Syria, he told reporters in Paris.
Four people are in custody following raids in Strasbourg and one person was detained after raids in Marseille last Saturday and Sunday.
Police discovered documents that clearly showed the suspects’ allegiance to ISIS and the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Molins said.
Other documents had details of planned terror attacks on important sites in France. Anti terror police also uncovered pistols and ammunition, he said.
France has been under a state of emergency since terror attacks rocked Paris last November.
A subsequent terror attack on crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice in July shook the country again. This was followed by a thwarted ISIS plot to attack the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that state of emergency would likely be extended.
With the country’s presidential elections coming in April-May, the prime minister said the government needs to retain the extra powers delegated by emergency laws “to protect our democracy.”
Valls said in September that authorities were monitoring around 15,000 people in France who they believe are in the process of radicalization and warned there were hundreds of French jihadis fighting in Iraq and Syria.
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