Paris Airport Attacker Consumed Drugs and Alcohol Before Rampage
21 March, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Ora Austin
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.
Ninety minutes later, he attacked the military patrol at Orly, causing panic and the shutdown of the city's second-biggest airport.
Responding to the attack, the Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that the attacker, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, shouted terror inciting slogans, before being fatally shot by security staff.
Earlier Saturday morning, Ben Belgacem shot and lightly wounded a police officer at a traffic stop and then hijacked a woman's vehicle at gunpoint in another nearby suburb, the Paris prosecutor confirmed.
It is thought the Frenchman, who had previously served 15 years in jail for robbery and drug crimes was radicalised in prison.
Molins told reporters thata container filled with petrol was found in the dead man's backpack, along with a Koran, some cigarettes and a lighter.
The other two soldiers on duty at Orly fired a total of eight rounds at Ben Belgacem.
Belgacem arrived at Orly Airport, south of Paris, at 8:06 a.m. and walked to Hall A on the first floor of the southern terminal, Molins said.
He then called his family and said, "I've done something stupid, I shot at people and they shot back".
"Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per liter in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine", the judicial source said.
"I want to salute the courage and the exceptional behavior of the security forces who managed to put away the individual and to do so in an extremely complex situation because this occurred in Orly Airport", he said at a news conference.
The unit attacked at the airport was part of Operation Sentinel, which involves about 7,000 soldiers who patrol public areas in France, including high-profile locations like airports, areas near large tourist attractions and train stations.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the attacker, whom he did not identify, assaulted three Air Force soldiers who were patrolling the airport.
No one else was injured, according to the French interior ministry.
And late last night police revealed three people - his cousin, father and brother - are being held in police custody.
The attack at Orly increases the likelihood that France's state of emergency, which has been in effect since November 2015, will remain in place.
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