France Investigating Terror Link to Airport Attack

Man wrestled soldier to ground, tried to take her gun
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2017 9:15 AM CDT
Police officers, rescue workers, left, and soldiers patrol outside the Orly airport, Saturday, March, 18, 2017.   (Thibault Camus)
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(Newser) – French President Francois Hollande says investigators will determine whether the Orly Airport attacker "had a terrorist plot behind him." Hollande ruled out any link between the attack and the upcoming French presidential election in April and May, noting that France has been battling the threat of extremism for years, the AP reports. In the Saturday morning attack, a 39-year-old man confronted three soldiers on patrol in the airport, When he wrestled a female soldier to the ground and tried to take her weapon, he was shot dead by her two male colleagues. Flight at the Paris-area airport resumed Saturday afternoon after a 5-hour halt.

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux says the man shot dead at the airport is the same person "linked with car hijacking" earlier in the morning in a Paris suburb. Le Roux says the man fired birdshot at police officers at a traffic stop, wounding one in the face. He fled in his vehicle before stealing a woman's car at gunpoint. Le Roux said the gunman was known by police and intelligence. The Paris prosecutors office, however, which has taken over the investigation of the Orly Airport attack, says the suspected attacker who was shot dead was not listed on the government's database of terrorist suspects. (Read more France stories.)

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