World 18.3.2017 10:03 pm

Paris airport attacker: ‘I’m here to die for Allah’

Police officers investigate at the house of the suspect of an attack at the Paris Orly's airport, on March 18, 2017 in Garges-les-Gonesse.
A man who had been investigated for links to radical Islam was shot dead at Orly airport south of Paris on today after attacking a soldier on patrol and trying to grab her rifle. The same man is suspected of having shot at police earlier in the day, leaving an officer with minor wounds after being pulled over while driving in a suburb north of the French capital.
 / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON

Police officers investigate at the house of the suspect of an attack at the Paris Orly's airport, on March 18, 2017 in Garges-les-Gonesse. A man who had been investigated for links to radical Islam was shot dead at Orly airport south of Paris on today after attacking a soldier on patrol and trying to grab her rifle. The same man is suspected of having shot at police earlier in the day, leaving an officer with minor wounds after being pulled over while driving in a suburb north of the French capital. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON

Along with his father and brother, a cousin of the 39-year-old attacker has now been detained.

The Frenchman shot dead Saturday by troops patrolling at Paris’ Orly airport after he tried to take one of their weapons told them he was “here to die for Allah”, a prosecutor said.

“Put your weapons down, hands on your head, I’m here to die for Allah. In any case people are going to die,” Ziyed Ben Belgacem told the troops, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

The prosecutor told a press conference that the attacker had acted with “intentions that were very visibly criminal”.

Along with his father and brother, a cousin of the 39-year-old attacker has now been detained, Molins said.

Before attacking the soldier at the airport, Ben Belgacem “threw to the ground a backpack containing a can of petrol”, Molins said, adding the man had in his pocket a packet of cigarettes and a lighter, 750 euros ($805) and a Koran. “The two minutes (of confrontation) with the soldiers demonstrate quite clearly the very strong determination of the attacker,” Molins said.

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