March 2017 Île-de-France attacks

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March 2017 Île-de-France attacks
Part of Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
Location Garges-lès-Gonesse, France
Orly Airport
Date 18 March 2017 (2017-03-18)
06:55 (UTC+1)
Attack type
Deaths 1 (the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Ziyed Ben Belgacem

The March 2017 Île-de-France attacks were a pair of terrorist attacks by the same individual in Garges-lès-Gonesse, an outer suburb of Paris, and Orly Airport near Paris on 18 March 2017. The attacker, a 39-year-old man identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem,[1] was shot dead after attempting to seize a weapon from a soldier patrolling the airport under Opération Sentinelle.[2]

Timeline of attacks

Initial attacks

The first attack took place at 06:55 local time in Garges-lès-Gonesse when the attacker was stopped by police during a routine traffic stop.[3] He used a pellet gun to shoot and lightly injure a female police officer before driving away.[2] He abandoned his vehicle in Vitry-sur-Seine shortly afterwards, where he threatened the patrons of a bar and, saying "in the name of Allah,"[4] stole another car at gunpoint from a mother driving her daughter.[3]

Airport attack

At about 08:30, he went to the departures level of the south terminal of Orly Airport and assaulted a member of a three-person patrol of air force soldiers.[3] He knocked one soldier to the ground and seized her assault rifle, a FAMAS, shouting, "I am here to die for Allah."[5][6][7] He was killed by the other two soldiers when the first soldier dropped to her knees and they opened fire.[8][9] The attacker was found to have been carrying a gasoline can, a lighter, a Koran, a pack of cigarettes, and €750.[10] The seizure of the assault rifle was filmed by a camera.[11]

Suspect and aftermath

Belgacem is said to have been a radicalised French-born Muslim of North African origin[1] who was a resident of Garges-lès-Gonesse. He was known to the authorities and on a police watchlist, though not on the Fiche "S" list of national security threats. Some reports say that he was born on 14 February 1978 in Paris.[12] He had a lengthy criminal record that included convictions for armed robbery[3] and had been in prison between March and November 2016.[13] Due to his connection with radicalised Islamists, his home was searched in November 2015 following the Paris attacks a few days earlier.[14] His father and brother were arrested following the attacks in Garges and Orly, as is normal procedure in France.[2]

The attack at the airport led to its temporary closure and the evacuation of about 3,000 people. All flights to and from Orly were suspended and some were diverted to the larger Charles de Gaulle Airport east of Paris.[15] The airport's west terminal was fully reopened by early afternoon, but air movements at the south terminal remained partly suspended with only incoming flights being permitted.[3]

Impact and context

This attack is one of a series of primarily terrorism-related attacks that have caused France to declare and renew a state of emergency that began on 13 November 2015 and was still ongoing in August, 2017.[not in citation given][16][17]

This attack is seen as part of a trend for Islamism-inspired and/or directed attacks to focuses on the police and military personnel guarding French cities during the state of emergency.[17] At least seven terrorist attacks on police and soldiers had occurred in the Paris region by August 2017. In February, a man attacked soldiers in Louvre with a machete. On 6 June, a man attacked a police officer with a hammer at the Notre-Dame Cathedral. On 19 June, a second failed attack occurred at the Champs-Élysées.[18] [19] In addition, there was an attack on the offices of the International Monetary Fund in which a letter bomb exploded.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Chazan, David (18 March 2017). "Radicalised Muslim known to security agencies shot dead in possible 'terror' incident at Paris airport - as security stepped up at stadium where Duke and Duchess watch rugby". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Orly airport: Man killed after seizing soldier's gun". BBC News. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "What we know about the Paris Orly airport attacker". AFP. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  4. ^ S.C. and C.G. "Garges-lès-Gonesse, Vitry, Orly : le parcours de Ziyed Ben Belgacem, samedi matin". Le Parisien (in French). Retrieved 19 March 2017. said «au nom d'Allah» ("in the name of allah") in the moment while he was stealing the Citroën (car brand) Picasso (car model), in Vitry 
  5. ^
  6. ^ MARC BASSETS. "La policía mata a un hombre que intentó robar el arma a un soldado en el aeropuerto de Orly, en París". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2017. "I am here to die for Allah, there will be dead anyhow," he said before he lunged at a woman on a patrol of three Airmen airmen. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ McAuley, James (18 March 2017). "Paris airport attacker previously suspected of having radical Islamist views". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Orly: "I am here to die for Allah"". La Depeche (in French). Retrieved 19 March 2017. Ziyed Ben Belgacem, trouvé porteur d'un bidon d'essence, d'un briquet, d'un paquet de cigarettes, d'un coran et 750 euros 
  11. ^ "Überwachungsvideo zeigt Moment des Angriffs". Der Spiegel. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Man killed at Paris airport had criminal past, radical flags". Daily Republic. 
  13. ^ Paulet, Alicia (18 March 2017). "Attaque à Orly : le profil de l'assaillant se précise". Le Figaro. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Ce que l’on sait de l’homme abattu à l’aéroport d’Orly". Le Monde. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  15. ^ Johnston, Chris (18 March 2017). "Paris shooting: terror investigation launched after suspect shot dead". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  16. ^ Simpson, Fiona (15 August 2017). "Girl, 13, killed and five people seriously injured as driver ploughs into diners outside pizzeria near Paris". Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  17. ^ a b [Attacks in France this year focus on security forces "Attacks in France this year focus on security forces"] Check |url= value (help). WTPO. AP. 9 August 2017. 
  18. ^ "2017 Terrorist Attacks". 9 August 2017. 
  19. ^ Charlton, Angela; Satter , Raphael. "Man ambushes French soldiers in car attack, later arrested". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference BredeenInjuringSix was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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