Security footage shows Paris Orly attacker approaching soldier from behind

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2017

Before he was shot and killed by French soldiers at Paris Orly airport Saturday, a man tried to grab a female soldier's gun and yelled he was there to "die for Allah" according to a French prosecutor.

The results of an autopsy showed that Belgacem had a blood alcohol level of 0.93 grams per liter - nearly twice the legal driving limit in France - and had also taken cannabis and cocaine, AFP reported, citing judicial sources.

Belgacem is said to have shouted "I am here to die for Allah - there will be deaths", before attempting to grab the soldier's weapon and shoot people inside the airport.

Ben Belgacem, a Frenchman born to Tunisian parents, was known to police and intelligence agencies.

"My son was never a terrorist".

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

The father was released from police custody overnight Saturday.

Belgacem's house was among scores searched in November 2015 in the aftermath of the suicide bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, and his wife Kate, who finished a two-day visit to Paris on Saturday stuck to their plans despite the attack. Belgacem's brother and a cousin were released later Sunday.

In the video, the gunman - identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem - drops a shopping bag and seizes the soldier around the shoulders as her colleague patrols ahead.

Nobody else was hurt in the attack, which shut down Paris' second-largest airport. Dozens of flights to and from Orly were cancelled during an hours-long shutdown after the incident, but by Sunday afternoon air traffic had returned to normal, a spokeswoman for the Paris airports authority said.

Ben Belgacem's father told Europe 1 his son had called him after the first police shooting "in a state of extreme agitation". He told me: "I ask for your forgiveness".

A subsequent police search of Belgacem's flat found cocaine, Molins said. Soldiers guarding key sites have been targeted in four attacks in the past two years but escaped with only minor injuries.

Last month, Egyptian Abdullah Reda al-Hamahmy, 29, was shot and seriously wounded near the Louvre museum when he launched himself at a group of soldiers, crying out "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest). President Francois Hollande said Saturday his government was "determined to fight relentlessly against terrorism".

Other reports by iNewsToday