Would-be assassin advertised his plans on extremist Web site

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

PARIS -- The young man who allegedly tried to assassinate the French president had first advertised his plans to cohorts in an extreme-right group and on an extremist Internet site, news reports said Tuesday.

"Watch the Tv This Sunday, i will be the star," read a message posted on the Combat 18 Internet site, signed "Maxime."

The message was dated July 13, the day before Maxime Brunerie pulled a .22-caliber rifle from a guitar case as President Jacques Chirac passed about 50 yards away, reviewing troops at France's Bastille Day military parade.

A shot rang out as at least one spectator turned the rifle barrel aside and others helped wrestle Brunerie to the ground.

Brunerie also spoke Saturday of his plans to a couple close to one radical rightist group and a best friend in the student extreme-right group, GUD, Le Figaro and other newspapers reported. All three told police they did not take Brunerie seriously, Le Figaro said.

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