The man responsible for this morning’s attack at a Paris airport claimed he was there to die for Allah, according to French Prosecutor Francois Molins.
France24 reports that the perp entered the airport and approached three patrolling soldiers, telling them, “put your weapons down. I’m here to die for Allah. In any case, people are going to die.”
The attacker – identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem – reportedly attempted to grab one of the soldier’s rifles, prompting the other two to open fire and kill him.
A witness claims “the man took a soldier hostage, he was holding her by the neck and threatening two other soldiers with the woman’s rifle.”
Another witness says three or four shots then rang out – presumably from the soldiers as they fired on Belgacem.
On his body, they found a Koran and 750 euros.
Radicalised Muslim known to security agencies shot dead in possible ‘terror’ incident at Paris airport pic.twitter.com/WZF2UiRDiz
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 18, 2017
Belgacem is reportedly the same man suspected of opening fire on police during a traffic stop in a northern Paris suburb earlier in the day.
He is also accused of having carried out numerous armed robberies in the past and may have even been investigated for radicalization in 2015 following the Paris shootings that left 130 people dead.
The Guardian reports that investigators had him in their sights due to his supposed ties to radical Islamists.
Police have reportedly detained the man’s brother and father for questioning.
It remains unclear if Belgacem – a 39-year-old French national – had a larger terror plot in mind before he was killed.
French authorities are currently conducting a terror investigation.
— Press Association (@PA) March 18, 2017