21st Century Wire says…
Earlier today a 39 year old French citizen by the name of Ziyed Ben Belgacem, said to have a criminal history and also radicalised during a previous prison sentence, was shot by soldiers at Paris Orly Airport after it was reported he tried to seize the weapon of a young female air force officer on duty, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins. Three people are now in custody after today’s event.
This attack comes only days after another incident at Grasse, southern France, where it was reported a 17 year old teenager opened fire with the rifle, shooting and injuring three people. The teenager was also said to have carried a rifle, two handguns, and two grenades.
The Grasse incident was ‘unknown’ to French intelligence services (DGSE/DGSI) whereas Ziyed Ben Belgacem was. It’s still a mystery how a 17 year old could gather such munitions for an attack without raising alarm. Also worth bearing in mind is that Grasse is situated under 50km from Nice, which was the focus of an attack during Bastille Day in 2016.
More on this report from RT…
French authorities are treating the attack at Orly airport as a terrorist incident, and have placed three people in custody. The Paris prosecutor says that the attacker, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, shouted Islamic slogans, before being fatally shot by security staff.
“I am here to die for Allah, there will be deaths,” the 39-year-old cried, as he attempted to wrest an assault rifle of a young female air force member on duty at Orly, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who held a press conference in the French capital on Saturday evening.
Molins said that Ben Belgacem, who had a string of theft and drug-related convictions, had been radicalized in prison – a fact that had been noted by the authorities at the time – and was on probation prior to the attack.
— RT (@RT_com) March 18, 2017
Earlier, French officials revealed that Ben Belgacem, a French citizen, shot and wounded a police officers, who had attempted to stop him at a checkpoint near Le Bourget, another airport near Paris. He also reportedly carjacked a vehicle, before setting off for Orly, one of the country’s busiest transport hubs.
Molins said that Ben Belgacem carried a can of petrol into the terminal building, which he flung down before engaging in a violent altercation with the air force patrol staff. Two soldiers then intervened, and fired eight bullets in three bursts at the man, killing him instantly. A Koran was found on his body.
The attacker’s brother and father, who had reportedly received messages from him just minutes before his death, have been detained, as is customary during such serious incidents.
Molins said that a cousin of Ben Belgacem also turned himself in to the police, after the attack, which necessitated the evacuation of a part of Orly airport, and the rerouting of multiple planes to nearby Charles De Gaulle airport.
The prosecutor said that Ben Belgacem, who had been born in Paris, had been sentenced to five years for robbery with a weapon, for offenses beginning in 1998, and was given a three and a five-year term for drug trafficking.
His house was searched in the aftermath of the Paris attacks in 2015, but he was not placed on the priority File S, reserved for the most dangerous suspects.
“The attacker’s brother and father, who had reportedly received messages from him just minutes before his death, have been detained, as is customary during such serious incidents…”
The above statement begs deeper analysis and ‘could’ suggest that not only were the DGSE and DGSI aware of the ‘target’, namely Belgacem, but were observing this unfolding event ‘live’ via SIGINT/COMINT and on the ground HUMINT means. One of the only ways that data about the attacker’s brother and father receiving messages before his death (most likely via a mobile telephone) could be reported on so quickly after the incident, is the release from French intelligence to the police and then to the Paris prosecutor, Molins. It would be of no surprise that the electronic communications of Belgacem and his mentioned family were being monitored prior to the event in Orly.
If French intel had Belgacem’s cards ‘marked’, searched his home after the 2015 Paris attacks, and knew he was radicalised during his prison term, then why was their a failure to apprehend him. Even more questionable is that Belgacem wasn’t placed on a ‘File S’ for dangerous suspects.
Belgacem’s ‘cousin’ turning himself into authorities is a moot point and we know nothing more about this individual as of yet. The ‘customary detention’ of Belgacem’s brother and father coupled with his cousin both seem to serve a possible ‘wag the dog’ strategy by French intelligence and other authorities as the detention of other family will ensure that the public in France and beyond will accept the ‘moral authority’ narrative on this matter, namely the intelligence and police services, including Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.
Considering all above that is indeed questionable and further detail required, it begs the simple question ‘why’. Similar to the Grasse incident, there are parts of these events which do not make any sense and deserve considerable thought.
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