The suspected attacker killed at Paris’ Orly airport on Saturday after trying to wrestle away a soldier’s weapon was a 39-year-old, identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, who was known to police for robbery and drug offenses, the prosecutors’ office said.
Prosecutors said Ziyed was born in 1978 and had nine unspecified infractions on his criminal record, but the suspected attacker was not listed on the government’s database, known as the ‘S’ list, of terrorist suspects.
A picture of the shooter, who was described by police sources to Reuters as a “radicalized Muslim,” has emerged:
Fox News: Paris airport attack investigated as terrorism, suspected man known to police
The Daily Mail: ‘I shot the police’: Text message sent by ‘Radicalised Muslim’ who shot at cops before grabbing an officer’s gun at Paris Orly airport and being killed as Kate and William met French terror victims
The Independent: Paris Orly airport shooting: Attacker was ‘radicalised Muslim’ man known to French intelligence services
Zero Hedge: Radicalized Muslim Killed After Seizing Soldier’s Gun At Paris Orly Airport In Terrorist Attack
The attacker assaulted three Air Force soldiers who were patrolling the airport. The soldier who was attacked managed to hold on to her rifle and the two soldiers she was with opened fire to protect her and the public.
No one else in the busy terminal was hurt, but around 3,000 passengers were evacuated from the airport, the second busiest in the country. Flights were suspended from both terminals of the airport and some flights were diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport north of the capital, airport operator ADP said.
The convicted criminal, who had links to radical Islam, sent a text message to his brother and father stating, “I shot the police,” shortly before he was shot dead during an attack at Paris Orly airport.
The wanted man’s father and brother turned themselves in at a police station after receiving the message, according to French TV network BFM. They have been taken into custody, and a home is being searched, officials have confirmed.
According to BBC, police sources say the man was the same as one involved in an earlier incident in the northern suburbs of Paris, where a police officer was shot and injured during a vehicle check. The suspect then escaped in a vehicle. French media reports said that a car used by the suspect was later found abandoned at the airport.
The incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack.