'Allah' attacker in Paris studied

World | Mar 20, 2017
Flights at Paris' Orly airport were normal yesterday after hours of chaos when a man attacked a woman soldier before he was shot dead.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said French national Ziyed Ben Belgacem, 39, grabbed the soldier and put a gun to her head while seizing her assault rifle.

He told other soldiers: "Put your weapons down, hands on your heads. I'm here to die for Allah. In any case, people are going to die."

Then he tried to use the soldier as a shield, but she dropped to her knees to give two comrades a chance to shoot him.

Molins said Ben Belgacem fired at police in Garges-les-Gonesse earlier, slightly injuring one officer in the head.

His father and brother told investigators he contacted them after that incident, saying he had "done something stupid."

He also met a cousin in a bar the previous night.

Investigators released the father from questioning yesterday but held on to his brother and the cousin as they sought to build a profile of Ben Belgacem.

The three had made contact with the police.

Ben Belgacem, carrying a petrol and a Koran in a backpack, had various criminal convictions and was investigated for links to radical Islam.

France has faced a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives since January 2015.


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June 2017