Tests find drugs, alcohol in blood of Paris airport attacker

22 March, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Essie Rivera

Tests on the body of a man shot dead at a Paris airport after attacking soldiers have revealed that he was almost twice over the drink-drive limit and had taken cannabis and cocaine.

Ziyed Ben Belgacem, 39, was killed on Saturday after he put a gun to a soldier's head saying he wanted to "die for Allah", officials say. In the ensuing struggle on the ground, other members of the patrol opened fire, killing him, an army spokesman said.

Judicial sources confirmed on Sunday night that Belgacem had been under the influence of alcohol, as well as cannabis and cocaine, at the time of Saturday's shootings.

In an interview on Sunday with French radio station Europe 1, a man identified as the suspect's father said Belgacem was not a practising Muslim and drank alcohol.

His father has insisted this was not an act of terrorism, and the cause was down to the substances Begacem had consumed. Belgacem has several armed robbery convictions.

"My son has never been a terrorist".

He then fled in his vehicle and called an unidentified member of his family to say, "I've done something stupid", the prosecutor said.

A suspected Islamic terrorist who had been previously flagged for possible radicalism unloaded a barrage of bird shot at French police before being shot and killed at Paris Orly Airport after ripping an assault rifle away from a female soldier, a brazen attack that one local expert says highlights the need for better terror surveillance in France.

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He fired at police with a pellet gun before escaping in a auto that was later found abandoned.

More than 230 people have died in France in the past two years at the hands of attackers allied to the militant Islamist group Isil. "I've shot a policeman".

Molins said three people were being held in police custody.

The anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation, Thibault-Lecuivre said.

Belgacem later showed up at the bar and hijacked another vehicle at gunpoint before showing up at the airport, Molins said. The son drove to the airport, stealing another vehicle along the way. He never prayed, and he drank.

Le Roux said the man was suspected of earlier opening fire on police during a routine traffic inspection in the northern suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse at around 7:00am (0600GMT).

The Orly attack forced both of the airport's terminals to shut down and evacuate, sent passengers and workers fleeing in panic and trapped hundreds of others aboard planes that had just landed.

The attack, which follows a similar incident in early February outside the Louvre museum in Paris, comes in the middle of a fiercely-contested presidential race between a centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron, and a far-right-wing candidate, Marine Le Pen, who has made anti-terrorism and anti-immigration the centerpieces of her campaign. France has presidential elections starting next month and remains under a state of emergency.

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