Paris airport attacker was ‘radicalised’

A man who had been investigated for being radicalised was shot dead at Orly airport south of Paris on Saturday after attacking a soldier on patrol and trying to grab her rifle.

The same man is suspected of having shot at police earlier in the day, leaving an officer with minor wounds after being pulled over while driving in a suburb north of the French capital.

Police sources say he is a 39-year-old Frenchman with several previous convictions, including for drugs and armed robbery, who was being sought by police.

His home was searched in 2015 after he was “detected as having been radicalised” but no incriminating evidence was found, the sources said.

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux confirmed he was “known to the police and the intelligence services”.

The man´s father and brother were being questioned by police Saturday.

Police also searched his house in the northeastern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, in the multi-ethnic Seine-Saint-Denis area.

The suspect was pulled over by police at around 6:55am (0555 GMT) Saturday while driving in Garges-les-Gonesse. He drew a gun and fired shots at the officers, slightly injuring one in the head, before fleeing.

He then continued south to steal another car in the suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine about 10 kilometres (six miles) from Orly airport. In Vitry, he also “burst into a bar and threatened those present,” Le Roux said.

Minutes later, at around 8:30am (0730 GMT), he walked onto the departures floor of Orly-Sud terminal, where he tried to grab the rifle of a female officer on patrol with two others.

A senior military source said he knocked the soldier to the ground and grabbed her rifle. The two other soldiers then opened fire, killing him, the source said. Le Roux was adamant that he “did not succeed” in taking the rifle.

No-one else was injured in the melee.

Identity documents found on the attacker matched those presented by the man who fired at police in Garges-les-Gonesse.

 

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