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COCORIOKO » Blog Archive » Hollande: Couple’s killing in Paris suburb a terrorist act

Hollande: Couple’s killing in Paris suburb a terrorist act

PARIS — French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday said the killing of a police commander and his partner in a Paris suburb was “incontestably a terrorist act.” He said that France was facing a terror threat “of a very large scale.”

The commander, 42, was stabbed to death outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles northwest of central Paris, officials said. He was dressed in plain clothes.

“France is not the only country concerned, as we have seen, again, in the United States, in Orlando,” Hollande said Tuesday in a speech at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

VICTIMS

 

The attacker, identified as Larossi Abbala, 25, by local media and the Associated Press, entered the house Monday evening and held the commander’s partner and their 3-year-old son hostage, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, adding that the partner also worked for the Interior Ministry.

An elite police unit negotiated with the attacker who said he was a soldier for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, French officials confirmed. Police stormed the house and killed the attacker. The woman was found dead, the son was alive.

USA TODAY

Orlando killer may have scoped out other targets

“The attacker was neutralized by commandos…and they saved the couple’s young boy,” said Cazeneuve.

Abbala was previously convicted of terrorism for recruiting fighters for jihad in Pakistan, according to the Associated Press and local media.

The Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said an Islamic State fighter carried out the attack, citing an unnamed source.

Some locals in Paris expressed surprise Tuesday morning, saying they had heard of the attack on the news but it was presented as a local altercation.

It is the first terror attack in France since a state of emergency was implemented following November’s massacre in Paris that killed 130 people. It occurred during heightened security measures for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Cazeneuve said more than 100 people who were potentially a threat to the nation have been arrested in recent weeks.

Police officials had already expressed concern in the weeks leading up to the Euro 2016 over potential attacks.

The biggest threat during the Euro, are “unfortunately the terrorist attacks,” said Yves Lefebvre, leader of a local police union in Paris.

Olivier Duran, spokesman of the National Union of Security Companies which represents private security firms, said during the tournament the authorities chose to concentrate “huge security measures” on the open-access fan zones . “But terrorism strikes out blindly and sometimes cleverly and looks for alternative targets to those high-security locations,” he said.

The incident follows a shooting in Orlando early Sunday that killed 49 people. U.S. authorities said the gunman, Omar Mateen, claimed his attack was in support of Islamic State but also expressed support for al-Nusra and other rogue organizations that are enemies of the militant group.
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