French police arrested members of a neo-Nazi cell accused of planning to attack Jewish or Muslim houses of worship, as well as the national event of the French umbrella Jewish organisation and EJC affiliate, CRIF.

Five members of the group, known as “The Black Bird” and described as “close in ideology to the neo-Nazi movement”, were charged between September and May over the alleged plot, a source close to the investigation said.

“The investigation suggested they were developing an ill-defined plot to carry out an attack, likely to target a place of worship.”

Police in the south-eastern city of Grenoble first arrested a man on weapons charges. The investigation led them to the four other suspects, two of them minors.

Anti-terrorism officers continued the investigation, charging the suspects with terror-related offenses, including manufacturing and transporting explosive devices and participating in a terrorist conspiracy.