French authorities foil terrorist attack on Olympic venue

French authorities say they have arrested a Chechen national on suspicion of plotting an act of terrorism targeting a venue for the Paris Olympic Games.

The interior ministry announced on Friday that the country's security services arrested an 18-year-old Chechen man in the central French city of Saint-Etienne.

The ministry said it was the "first foiled attack against the Olympic Games."

Ministry officials said the suspect was inspired by Islamic extremism and had planned to attack spectators and security forces at a soccer stadium in the city, and die as a martyr.

The French government raised its terrorism alert to the highest level across the country in March following an attack believed to have been carried out by the Islamic State militant group on the outskirts of Moscow.

Some of the Olympic events will start on July 24, before the opening of the Games, and will also be held in cities other than the capital.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the terror plot shows that "we must always remain attentive in Paris, obviously, but everywhere on national territory."