A suspected Islamic extremist took drugs and drank alcohol before he took a soldier hostage at Paris’ Orly Airport and was shot dead by her fellow patrolmen.
As he declared he wanted to “die for Allah” and go on to kill others, he was gunned down by the soldier’s two colleagues.
A man previously known to French anti-terror authorities was fatally shot early Saturday at Orly Airport after struggling to steal a soldier’s gun and earlier assaulting a police officer at a traffic stop in a northeastern Paris suburb, the Paris prosecutor said.
A brother and cousin of Belgacem were also questioned by police and then released on Sunday, the judicial source said.
Travel for about 2,000 people had been severely disrupted, the president of Paris Airports, Augustin de Romanet, told CNN.
The attack came just two hours after Belgacem, who had several convictions for armed robbery, fired on police after being pulled over for speeding after spending the night in a bar. He never attended prayer.
The soldier whose gun the man tried to seize was a member of the army’s “Sentinelle” operation responsible for patrolling airports and guarding religious sites since January 2015.
The latest in a series of attacks in France forced the evacuation of France’s second-busiest airport and thrust security back to the forefront of France’s presidential election campaign.
“Her two comrades thought it was necessary – and they were right – to open fire to protect her and especially to protect all the people who were around”, Le Drian said.
Belgacem later showed up at the bar and hijacked another auto at gunpoint before showing up at the airport, Molins said.
Earlier in the morning, the assailant of Orly had wounded a policeman in the northern Paris suburbs, with a shotgun during a roadside check, before fleeing.
Police at the scene of the incident at Orly airport in Paris.
France’s counterterrorism prosecutor has taken charge of the investigation.
Authorites suspected a possible link to the incident at Orly Airport. The suspect’s father and brother have also been arrested, according to law enforcement sources, though it’s not clear if they will be charged.
He fled by threatening a motorist with a weapon and stealing her vehicle, which was later found at Orly Airport.
Prosecutors said Belgacem was flagged as having been radicalized during a spell in detention in 2011-2012.
These include coordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 in Paris when 130 people were killed and scores injured.
Molins said it was a terrorist attack, according to indications: “The first is of course the choice of the target”.
THE father of the slain Paris airport gunman said yesterday that his son was under the influence of drink or drugs, not radical Islam.
In mid-February, a machete-wielding Egyptian man attacked a soldier outside Paris’s Louvre museum, injuring him slightly, before being shot and wounded.