Paris attack – Sixth terrorist strike on the French capital in three years.
‘Probably a terrorist act’, is what the French police believe. This is the sixth terror strike on Paris in three years.
The shooting came just three days before the first round of the country’s presidential election.
A policeman was shot dead on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Thursday night in an apparent ISIL-inspired terror attack. Police say two other officers wounded and attacker shot dead, in incident described by François Hollande as ‘terrorist in nature’.
The shooting was carried out by a man, who was under preliminary investigation for terrorism but “let go”. The attack raised questions over how yet another extremist, known to police, was able to bring terror to the heart of the French capital.
The gunman had recently been detained for questioning in a police station in Meaux, outside Paris, after “informants” had indicated that he was “seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen”, according to reports. But due to a lack of evidence, anti-terror prosecutors “let him go”. The 39-year-old gunman was known by intelligence services for radicalisation and had targeted police 16 years ago in a car chase, when he opened fire on officers, according to reports. During questioning, he managed to get hold of a police weapon and fire five times. The policeman survived, but the man was sentence to several years in prison for the attack. He opened fire on a police car parked on the Champs-Élysées, hitting at least two officers. The man’s gun, thought to have been a Kalashnikov, was described as a “war weapon”.