“Put your weapons down”. The Paris Prosecutor added that the suspect was holding a can with fuel and shouted: “I came to die for Allah”.
According to eyewitnesses, the suspect had at least one hostage and was threatening to kill other soldiers during the confrontation.
A senior military source said he knocked the soldier to the ground and tried to take her rifle from her.
“Everything suggests that he wanted to take the Famas so there would be deaths and to shoot people”, he said. No explosives were found, said the report. Officers found several grams of cocaine in the apartment, and he was a regular at an Italian-Cuban bar in the south of Paris, which was known for its rowdy nights, a local said.
Paris prosecutor François Molins said Belgacem had grabbed the female soldier from behind at 8.22am.
Belgacem had a lengthy criminal history of violence, robbery and drug offences but was not on the “fiche S” list of terror threats, despite being investigated by the DGSI as a potential jihadi after indications of Islamist radicalisation emerged in 2015.
Prosecutors say the same man shot at police earlier in the day, leaving an officer with minor wounds after being pulled over while driving in a suburb north of the French capital.
The brother and father of the suspect are being questioned, but have not been detained.
He then drove to the bar in Vitry, south of Paris, and opened fire. He later hijacked the vehicle he would take to the airport.
In the last two years, more than 230 people have been killed by extremists who are allied with the Islamic State (Isis) jihadists.
However, his house was among scores searched in November 2015 following terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
Strengthening France’s security is at the heart of the campaign for presidential elections in April and May, where centrist Emmanuel Macron is predicted to hold off a strong challenge from far-right-winger Marine Le Pen, who advocates tough measures against illegal immigrants and radical Islamists.
The prosecutor said the 39-year-old attacker had acted with “intentions that were very visibly criminal”. “France overwhelmed by violence, the outcome of the laxity of successive governments”, she wrote on Twitter.
A man has been shot dead today (March 18) after seizing a rifle from a soldier guarding Orly Airport in Paris.
“We ran off, down the staircase”.
The motive of the man, identified as Fiche S., was unclear, but he was known to authorities and had a security alert in his personal file, Mr. Le Drian said.
All flights in an out of Orly – which is served by airlines including British Airways and easyJet – were suspended as the airport was shut and roads were blocked.