Paris attacker, on terror watchlist, had gun licence

2017-06-21 06:48
Police search the house of the suspected attacker who opened fire on police on the Champs Elysees. (Sarah Brethes, AFP)

Police search the house of the suspected attacker who opened fire on police on the Champs Elysees. (Sarah Brethes, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Questions arose on Tuesday over how a known radical Islamist who rammed a car laden with weapons and gas canisters into a police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees was able to hold a firearms licence.

Adam Djaziri, a 31-year-old who had been on a watch list for radical Islamists since 2015, was killed on Monday as his car smashed into the police van on the French capital's most famous avenue.

Amassing weapons

Two handguns and a Kalashnikov-style assault rifle were found in the car, while a weapons stash was discovered at the home of the attacker.

A source close to the inquiry said a letter had been found in which Djaziri claimed allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Djaziri's father, who has since been detained, said that his son practised shooting as a sport and a source close to the probe said he had nine registered weapons including pistols and an assault rifle.

In the letter, Djaziri boasted that he was playing a "double game" by amassing weapons for an attack by posing as a shooting enthusiast, the source said.

The head of the French Shooting Federation said police officers had visited Djaziri's shooting club to enquire about him...implying that his keen interest in guns had raised suspicions.

The attempted attack comes as France remains under a state of emergency after a wave of jihadist assaults that have left more than 230 people dead since 2015.

Police question

As the month-old government of President Emmanuel Macron prepares to unveil a tougher new anti-terrorism law, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe expressed dismay that Djaziri was able to have a gun permit.

"What I know at this stage is that the first weapons permit was given before this individual was flagged" he said in an interview, but added that "no one can be satisfied... and certainly not me" that Djaziri was able to possess dangerous weapons after being put on a watch list.

Djaziri's ex-wife, brother and sister-in-law were detained late on Monday after police questioned them at the family home in Plessis-Pate, south of Paris.

Burn marks were found on Djaziri's body but it was not yet clear how he died. There were no other casualties from the attempted attack.

Since the large-scale Paris attacks in November 2015 and last year's Nice truck attack, France has suffered a string of smaller assaults targeting security forces.

Djaziri died just a short distance from the spot on the Champs-Elysees where a jihadist shot dead a police officer two months ago.

Earlier this month an Algerian man attacked a policeman with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral, another key tourist draw, while troops shot dead a man at the capital's Orly airport in March after he attacked a soldier on patrol.

In February, a man armed with two machetes assaulted four soldiers patrolling outside the Louvre museum.

Read more on:    france  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.