The murderous attack that took place last night in the western part of Paris seems to have been a terrorist attack. Around 8.30 p.m., a married couple, both of whom were police officers, were killed. Their three-year-old son is safe. Their executioner was Larossi Abballa, an Arab and naturalized French, 25 years of age, who lived in Mantes-la-Jolie, not far away from the crime scene. According to the French media, he had been sentenced to three years in prison in 2013, with a six- month suspension, for “criminal association in view of preparing terrorist acts”. He was sentenced together with seven other people as a member of a jihadi network operating in France and Pakistan.
According to witnesses, at the time of the attack to the deputy commander of the Commissariat of Les Mureaux, 42, on his way back home to Magnanville, in the urban department of Yvelines, stabbing him nine times, the killer would have shouted “Allah Akbar”. Then, he would have entered the victim’s house, taking hostage his wife – a police officer who was working in the Secretariat of the Commissioner of Mantes-la-Jolie – and their son. Police forces arrived on the spot and tried to convince the killer to surrender, but obtained no result. The latter would have first barricaded inside the house, then, according to sources, he would have declared he belonged to Isis. The district was armored, people were evacuated, and electricity and gas provision was interrupted. Around midnight, two loud detonations were heard, which prepared the assault of the RAID (Recherche, assistance, intervention, dissuasion) anti-terrorist Special Forces, the same ones that had carried out the operation in Hyper Cacher in January 2015. According to local television station BFM-TV, the officers would have shot against Abballa during the blitz, killing him after he had opened fire against them. So, entering in the house, they found the lifeless body of the woman, while the child was “shocked, but uninjured”, reported the public prosecutor in Versailles, Vincent Lescloum.
A few hours after the attack, nighttime, the Amaq agency, which is close to the Caliphate and on the list of Site (the company that monitors the online activities of jihadist organizations), claimed responsibility for the murderous aggression, saying that “a fighter of the Islamic State” would have stabbed an agent of the French police in a suburb of Paris before being killed in a dramatic police operation. An urgent meeting was convened at the Élysée palace this morning to discuss this issue, which saw the presence of President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Interior Ministers Bernard Cazeneuve, and Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas. Minister Cazeneuve expressed his “deep sadness” over the incident and praised the “cold-blooded” Special Forces. Today, he will also visit the Commissaries of Mureaux and Magnanville, where the two killed police officers had worked.
Some judicial sources quoted by Le Monde reported that the investigation was entrusted to the anti-terrorism law enforcement for three main reasons: the ” target (police), the assailant’s “modus operandi” of the assailant and “the words he pronounced” in the attack and during the operation of the SWAT Raid. The spokesman of the French government, Stephane Le Foll, said that last night massacre of the two police officers on the outskirts of Paris was “a terrorist act.”
French security services had been harshly criticized for not having been able to prevent and for having mismanaged 2015 Paris Attacks; they had been scolded also for their failed strategy during the recent European Football Championship France 2016, especially during the opening match between England and Russia in Marseille, when terrible clashes between ultras and the police took place. But whith this operation, they have won back citizens’ trust.