Less than two days after ISIS-inspired terrorist Omar Mateen opened fire in a nightclub and killed 49 people and injured dozens more, the Islamic State has now taken credit for the murder of two police officers in France, which the president said was “unquestionably a terrorist attack.”
A police commander and his partner, also a police official, were stabbed to death at their home west of Paris. Their three-year-old son survived. The attacker was killed in an police assault on the house. He had previously spent time in jail over links to jihadist groups.
Named by French sources as Larossi Abballa, he had also been under recent police surveillance, including a wiretap, say media reports quoting police sources. Two people linked to the man have been arrested and placed in custody. Police say the man lay in wait outside the policeman’s house on Monday evening before the ambush took place at around 20:30 (18:30 GMT). After the murder he went inside the house and killed the policeman’s wife, and held their three-year-old son hostage.
Abballa, 25, was shot and killed when police entered the couple’s home in Magnanville at about midnight, hours after he had posted a 13-minute video on Facebook Live in which he swore allegiance to IS. In the video, he was shown considering what to do with their son, according to French jihad expert David Thomson, who watched it. “I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with him,” the killer is heard saying.
In the video, he also made a threatening reference to the Euro 2016 football tournament. Two Facebook accounts linked to Abballa were suspended on Tuesday morning. Police also discovered a list of six people who the suspect wished to target on his computer, reported iTELE – including two public personalities. Abballa lived in nearby Mantes-La-Jolie and was convicted in 2013 of “criminal association with the aim of preparing terrorist acts”.
He was sentenced to a three-year term in prison, of which six months were suspended, for recruiting fighters for jihad in Pakistan. The IS-linked Amaq news agency claimed an IS “fighter” had carried out the attack. France has been under a state of emergency since the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015 in which 130 people died. That state of emergency is still in place with France on high alert as it hosts the Euro championship, which started last Friday.
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