Drugs, alcohol in blood of Paris Orly airport attacker


The French security agencies on Saturday shot dead an assailant at Orly airport in the capital when the alleged terrorist tried to snatch a gun from a woman soldier at the airport.

French national police said that only one man was involved in the airport attack and denied reports of a possible second attacker.

At 8.22 a.m., Molins said, Belgacem grabbed a female soldier who was patrolling the terminal from behind and put his gun to her head.

The suspect's criminal record included convictions for armed robbery and drugs offences, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters late on Saturday. At the same time, police sources said earlier that he was on a police watch list for radical Islamic activity, and was reportedly radicalized in prison between 2011 and 2012. I'm here to die for Allah.

Prior to the incident at the airport on Saturday, the suspect had shot and wounded a police officer with an air pistol during a routine road check in a northern Paris suburb. Incoming flights were diverted to nearby Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Interior minister Bruno Le Roux has previously said Belgacem was known to French intelligence services.

Belgacem then threatened people in a bar before stealing a auto at gunpoint and driving to the airport. The two other soldiers then opened fire, killing him.No one else was injured in the melee.

Police did not provide a motive for the attack but the Paris prosecutors' office said its anti-terrorism division was taking over the investigation.

Belgacem's father, brother and a cousin were taken in for questioning, Molins said.

The episode was reminiscent of an attack in February near the Louvre museum that forced the museum to close.

The prosecutor added that, according to soldiers, the attacker yelled: "Put down your weapons!" The nation has been under a continued state of emergency since the coordinated Paris attacks of November 2015, making security a key issue in the upcoming French presidential elections in April and May of this year. The public has been asked not to cross the security perimeter and to follow instructions, the police tweet said. Explosives experts were also on the scene and had completed their inspection by noon.

One of France's main airports was evacuated and flights disrupted for hours Saturday after a man wrestled a soldier to the ground and snatched her automatic rifle, telling her colleagues "there will be deaths".

Paris is on high alert after yesterday's two attacks. The French justice minister had suggested this past week that it might be possible to lift it. Passengers in planes that had landed before the shooting were being kept aboard the aircraft until the airport was declared secure, said the officials.



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