A man who attacked soldiers at Paris Orly airport on Saturday (March 18) carried a petrol can and shouted he was there to “die for Allah”, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.
According to testimony of soldiers who witnessed the attack, the assailant put his air gun to the head of a woman soldier and shouted to other soldiers with her: “Put down your guns. Put your hands on your head. I am here to die for Allah. In any case, there will be deaths.”
Molins said it was a terrorist attack, according to indications: “The first is of course the choice of the target. It is not random to choose to attack patrolling soldiers from the Operation Sentinelle. We know very well that corresponds to instructions widely spread within the framework of terrorist, jihadist organisations.
“The second is obviously the signs of radicalization which were highlighted at one point during his time spent in a prison. And also the comments he made and that were brought back to us by the Sentinelle soldiers during the attacks.”
The attacker, who Molins named as Zied ben Belgacem, was shot dead by the other soldiers. Molins said three people were being held in police custody.
He said Belgacem’s choice of target and evidence that he had been radicalized justified launching a terrorism investigation.