Friday, 21 April 2017

Another Terrorist Attack in Paris

 
Two French officials say the gunman who shot and killed a police officer on the Champs Elysees was detained in February for threatening police then freed.
The officials spoke Friday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to publicly discuss details of the probe into Thursday night’s attack.
The officials said the gunman was detained toward the end of February after speaking threateningly about the police but then released for lack of evidence.
He was convicted in 2003 of attempted homicide in shootings on two police officers.
Police shot and killed the gunman after he opened fire on a police van on Paris’ most famous boulevard. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
A handwritten note praising the Islamic State group was found near the attacker, a source close to the probe said today.
In addition to the note near the body of 39-year-old Frenchman Karim Cheurfi, police found a Koran in his vehicle at the scene of Thursday’s attack, the sources told AFP.
Terror strikes before election
A known terror suspect gunned down a police officer and wounded two others on Paris’s Champs Elysees in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group days before France’s presidential election.
The shooter opened fire with an automatic weapon on a police car on the world-famous boulevard at around 5am AEDT, prompting tourists and visitors to run for their lives.
After killing the officer and injuring his colleagues, the gunman was shot dead in return fire while trying to flee on foot, police sources told AFP.
The attacker was known to French anti-terror police, sources told AFP, and raids took place at his address in a suburb to the east of Paris. A police document obtained by The Associated Press identifies the address searched in the town of Chelles as the family home of a 39-year- old with a police record. Two police officials earlier told The AP that the chief suspect in Thursday’s attack is a 39-year-old from an eastern Paris suburb.
Security already has been a dominant theme in the campaign, and the violence on the sparkling avenue threatened to weigh on voters’ decisions. Candidates cancelled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday’s first round vote.
Anti-immigration contender Le Pen earlier welcomed security moving to the heart of the campaign as she took part in a prime-time interview show alongside 10 other presidential candidates.
“We are suffering the consequences of a laxity that has continued for years,” she said shortly before the shooting, promising to take a hard line against extremists and anyone suspected of being an Islamist.
For weeks, former banker Macron and Le Pen have been out in front but opinion polls now show there is a chance that any of four leading candidates could reach the election’s second-round run-off on May 7.
Conservative candidate Fillon and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon have closed the gap substantially in the last two weeks.
“The first responsibility of the president is to protect,” Macron said on the interview show. “This threat will be part of our daily lives in the next years.” Fillon, who penned a pre-election book called “Beating Islamic Totalitarianism”, declared that “the fight against terrorism must be the absolute priority of the next president.” As the first details of the attack filtered through, US President Donald Trump said that “it looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? It just never ends.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences.
Forensic experts and police officers examine evidence from a police van on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Picture: AP
Forensic experts and police officers examine evidence from a police van on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Picture: AP
WHAT WE KNOW
• An attacker opened fire on a Paris police van on Paris’ Champs Elysees armed with an automatic firearm
• One police officer is dead, two are seriously wounded
• The attacker was know to police
• The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility
• French President Francois Hollande says it points to a terrorist act
• Police are raiding at least one location in an eastern Paris suburbs
HOW THE MORNING UNFOLDED
| 8.40amDid shooter have help?
The French prosecutor says investigators are trying to determine if the Champs Elysees attacker had accomplices. He also says the identity of the Paris attacker has been verified and searches are underway. At least one location in the eastern Paris suburbs is being searched.
 
Image result for Karim Cheurfi
Suspect Karim Cheurfi
 
(Story The Australian)


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