Car containing gas cylinders found near Notre Dame in Paris

Police official said the owner of the vehicle was arrested following the discovery on Saturday night

Car containing gas cylinders found near Notre Dame in Paris

A soldier patrols in front of Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris. Image: Jacques Brinon / AP/Press Association Images

A car containing gas cylinders was found near Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Saturday night, a French police official said.

The owner of the Peugeot 607 was arrested and is on a watchlist of people suspected of religious radicalism, the official said.

Another man is reported to have been detained by police.

The police official said that it is believed the owner of the car "may have been trying to carry out a test-run."

French police said that the car had no registration plates and it was found with its hazard lights flashing.

The vehicle contained seven gas cylinders, one of which was empty and placed on the front passenger seat.

There was no detonating device present, an official added.

The security alert comes after a warning from the head of the French domestic intelligence service, Calvar Patrick, that Islamic State could use booby-trapped vehicles to attack France.

In July, Mr Patrick said: "I am sure that they will move to the level of vehicle bombs and explosive devices and they will thus increase their power.

"They are going to send in squads whose mission will be to organise terrorist campaigns without necessarily mounting assaults that will end with their deaths."

The terrorism threat level in France remains 'high' after a series of deadly attacks.

On July 14, 86 people were killed when a truck ploughed into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, with IS saying it was driven by one of its followers. 

Less than a fortnight later two young jihadists murdered a priest near the northern city of Rouen.

IS also claimed responsibility for the November 2015 attacks on Paris that killed 130 people and injured hundreds.