ibusinesslines.com July 25, 2017

Paris terror attack suspect 'was known to authorities'

21 April 2017, 06:16 | Laverne Osborne

Police officers block the access to the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting


"Be safe and look after one another". In July, an attacker in Nice drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing more than 80 people and injuring hundreds before he was fatally shot by police.

The Champs Elysees street was closed off shortly after the shooting, while a helicopter started patrolling the area.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet said one of the injured officers was more gravely hurt than the other, but both are doing better.

"I won't reveal it, because investigations and raids are already under way, in particular to establish whether there is any evidence or not of complicity (in this attack)".

The so-called "Islamic State" (IS) jihadi group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which the assailant was killed by police.

During a search of his home, Belgian police found weapons, balaclavas and a train ticket for France leaving Thursday morning.

In the moments after the attack, which came just three days before France's presidential election first round, people hid where they could.

According to French media, he had served several years in prison for shooting at police in the early 2000s.

A second suspect who might have been involved in the incident on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard may still be on the loose, authorities said.

"I am deeply sad tonight", said the president.

Police sources said the man was known to intelligence services. I think he hit a policeman. "As soon as the policeman opened the door of the van, he fell".

He said he and tourists fled to a shop. "Paying homage to the policeman killed on the Champs-√Člysees".

A witness told Reuters that a man got out of a vehicle and began shooting with a Kalashnikov.

The gunman attacked as the officers were guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station, not far from the Arc de Triomphe, on Thursday night.

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron said during his TV appearance that it was a president's "first duty to protect" and he expressed his "solidarity" with the police.

On Tuesday, French police arrested two men in Marseille, south France, suspected of planning "an imminent and violent act on French territory", on the eve of election. "And that there was a concern that an attack was being planned to coincide with the French election".

The incident comes days before the French election, which is to take place on Sunday. IS said the assault was the work of one of its "soldiers", a Belgian national identified only by the pseudonym Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki.

Now, it remains empty and heavily guarded by armed security forces and police.

Speaking in Indonesia Friday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the attack was just the latest reminder "that terrorism can strike anywhere at anytime". What can you say?

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