Australian police arrested a French extremist
Australian police arrested a suspected French extremist trying to enter the countryGetty Images

A suspected French extremist was caught trying to enter Australia carrying cans of the chemical mace in the wake of the 13 November Paris terror attacks, officials revealed.

The French national arrived in Australia from the Middle East and was detained at Melbourne airport, attorney general George Brandis told Australian media.

"There was an intervention by Australian Border Force including its counter-terrorism unit," Brandis told ABC radio.

"He was found to be in possession of prohibited goods, namely three cans of mace. His visa was revoked. He was held in detention and deported from Australia."

Brandis also said the man possessed "extremist literature".

"This is yet another example of the determination of this government to keep our community safe, to keep it safe at the borders, just as we are determined to keep it safe in our streets," he said.

The man was questioned on his return to France by authorities. He was found to have no links to those responsible for the Paris terror attacks.

Mace is a self-defence spray.