French investigate who is behind fiber optic cables sabotage

PARIS (AP) — The Paris prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation Wednesday into the suspected sabotage of fiber optic cables, which disrupted the internet in several regions around France, and said the country’s domestic intelligence agency would help with the probe.

The outages occurred early Wednesday, hitting several — but not all — operators into the day. Authorities suggested the damage to the cables was intentional.

Moving quickly, the prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation on charges of “damaging goods of a nature of harming the fundamental interests of the nation,” as well as “obstruction of an automatic data processing system” and criminal association, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. In what appeared to be an unusual move, France’s internal intelligence service, known as the DGSI, was helping in the investigation, along with the judicial police.

It was not clear whether there were any known suspects.

The cable cuts apparently had no effect on vital services like hospitals. Some customers woke up without internet service and technicians scrambled to patch up the damage.

According to the newspaper Le Monde, the cable cuts hit some customers in Paris’ Ile de France region, Alsace in the east, Grenoble in the southeast and the northern Nord region.

The junior minister for digital transition, Cedric O, mentioned only the Paris region in a tweet, saying that “cuts in cables were confirmed, touching the network of fixed and mobile lines.”

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