Paris Rocked By ISIS Attack on Police, Just Days Before Presidential Election

Initial reports on the incident indicated there may have been more than one shooter. Eyewitnesses reported that the shooter, dressed in all black, approached a police van and opened fire with a “war weapon.”

The weapon in question was a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, a firearm commonly used by military or terrorist forces.

The dead shooter has been identified as Karim Cheurfi, a.k.a. Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki, a 39-year old living in the Paris suburb of Chelles. He was known to French authorities as a radical and had previously shot at police officers in 2001. Although sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment in 2003, his sentence was reduced to 15 years in 2005.

French anti-terrorist prosecutors have opened an investigation, confirming that the motive is believed to be terrorism, and the attacker was known to intelligence services, security sources said. They added that he had been flagged as a serious threat to national security.”

As the shooting occurred, central Paris was put on lockdown until police could determine that the terrorist attack and threat was ended.

The French police officer who died was shot in the head. The police union Alliance released a statement about the attack.

The exact circumstances are still unclear but I can confirm the tragic death of one of our colleagues. Our thoughts are very much with his family. One or several attackers have been shot dead by the police. Some officers were hit but the bullets were stopped by their bulletproof vests, but two were hit.”

Police have issued an arrest warrant for a second suspect who is believed to have arrived by train from Belgium.

Since 2015, France has lived under a state of emergency. There have been a number of Islamist militant attacks resulting in the deaths of more than 230 people in the past two years.

A Reuters report earlier this week indicated that police arrested two men in Marseilles who’d been planning an attack prior to the national election. A Paris prosecutor noted that a machine gun, two handguns and three kilos of TATP explosive were found in an apartment, along with jihadist propaganda.

It remains to be seen if this latest terrorist incident boosts the presidential candidacy of Marine Le Pen of the National Front party. She has repeatedly spoken out on the need to fight radical Islam globally and criticized Hollande, who is not running for re-election, for being weak on terrorism.

Le Pen is a populist who strongly advocates French nationalism.

Source: Zero Hedge





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