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Paris airport attacker 'drunk and on drugs'

20 March 2017, 10:18 | Taylor George

Paris airport attacker 'drunk and on drugs'

FRANCE-ATTACK-AIRPORT

CCTV footage has been released of that attack in the French capital as the suspected Islamist terrorist grabbed a soldier's rifle before being shot dead. Ben Belgacem, who was born in France to Tunisian parents, grabbed a soldier on patrol at Orly's southern terminal on Saturday morning.

The footage, obtained by AP, shows the a 39-year-old Frenchman trying to wrestle away the first soldier's gun, but he was killed before he could fire the weapon. After identifying the soldier, he puts down the bags and charges her from behind, taking her as hostage. He was immediately shot dead by two of the soldier's colleagues.

No one else was injured in the incident. He put a gun to her head and seized her rifle, saying he wanted to "die for Allah".

Ben Belgacem's father insisted his son-who had spent time in prison for armed robbery and drug-dealing-was not a extremist. "He told me: 'I ask for your forgiveness".

The Paris prosecutors' office said toxicology tests conducted as part of an autopsy found traces of cocaine and cannabis in the blood of Ben Belgacem. Begacem had a blood alcohol content of 0.93 grams per liter of blood, which is nearly twice the country's legal driving limit. That is almost twice the legal limit for driving in France. After police stopped him for driving too fast and without headlights, prosecutors said Belgacem opened fire with a revolver loaded with bird shot, injuring an officer in the face.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said a Koran was found on Belgacem's body, adding cocaine was discovered during a search of the suspect's residence. 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. After spending Friday night in a bar with his cousin, Ben Belgacem was pulled over by police for speeding in the gritty northern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, where he lived, just before 7:00 am.

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Belgacem had been flagged as having been radicalised during a spell in detention in 2011-2012, the prosecutor said.

A member of France's elite police force at Orly airport.

The father was released from police custody overnight Saturday.

Belgacem begins yelling that he wants to kill and die for Allah, according to a Paris prosecutor.

The last major terrorist attack in France involving guns and explosives was in November 2015, when 130 people died and 368 were injured by Islamic State suicide operatives in Paris. "Whatever happens, there will be deaths", Molins said.



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