According to French reports, two teenage hackers linked to a “pro-Israel cyber terrorist” are suspected of triggering a false terror alert Saturday afternoon in Paris when they claimed they were being held hostage by terrorists.
The two confirmed that they had contacted security forces through a terror alert app and claimed assailants had taken hostages at Saint-Leu church. During the alert, French security forces cordoned off an area of central Paris, before announcing that it was a “false alarm” and there was “no danger.”
“We said there had been hostages taken in the church and that there were ten North Africans with arms and suicide belts,” The two suspects, aged 16 and 17, tell the BFM TV channel, according to a Daily Mail translation.
“We did not think it would work. We just did it for the thrill and to become known. If people panic then that’s their fault,” they’re quoted as saying.
The report links them to far-right French-Israeli hacktivist Gregory Chelli, who denies any connection to them in a Facebook post.
The French Interior Ministry says the two unnamed teens are being accused of orchestrating a “malevolent act.”