Culture&Arts

Belgian linked to drugs, not Paris attack: prosecutors

Belgian linked to drugs, not Paris attack: prosecutors

A man who killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees Thursday night was known to French security services for radical Islamist activities and had shot and wounded an officer in the past, a source close to the investigation told CNN.

The slain policeman was identified as Xavier Jugele by a French association of LGBT police officers. The Islamic State group claims responsibility for the attack carried out by a jihadist with a prior terrorist conviction. A police document obtained by The Associated Press identifies the address searched in the town of Chelles as the family home of Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old with a criminal record.

On Friday, French authorities said a suspect sought by Belgium police, who was suspected of having planned to travel to France on Thursday, had handed himself in at a police station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. He had been arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill police officers but released because of lack of evidence. French media reported that he was recently the subject of a counterterrorism investigation.

IS jihadists have claimed deadly attacks in London, Berlin, Nice and now the bloodshed on the Champs Elysees.

The extremist group has named the attacker as Abu Yusuf al Beljiki and suggested he was a Belgian. It was announced earlier that two officers had been injured.

Authorities are trying to determine whether "one or more people" might have helped the attacker, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters at the scene of the shooting.

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Police have detained and questioned three family members of the gunman who was shot and killed in the attack.

He was found to have an alibi because he was at his place of work, the spokesman said.

Others, however, stress that should Le Pen perform broadly in line with polling to date, confidence she can not win in the second round should see the euro appreciate.

The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory. But pollsters are doubtful the attack will sway the vote.

One of them, Marine Le Pen, the far-Right candidate, has issued grim warnings that a declining France is losing its identity, echoing Trump's themes during the American presidential race previous year.

People on the French security services' watch list for radicalization should also be expelled from France and have their French citizenship taken away, she said.

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"Today fundamentalist Islam is waging war and. the measures are not being taken to limit the risks", she is quoted as telling French radio station RFI.

"Nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country", said Mr Cazeneuve. "Do not give in to fear, do not give in to division, do not give in to intimidation", he said. "Our generation must rise to this challenge", he said in a televised statement from his campaign headquarters. "Will have a big effect on presidential election!"

"Barbarity and cowardice struck Paris last night", the prime minister said, appealing for national unity and for people "not to succumb to fear".

"It just never ends, We have to to be strong and we have to be vigilant, and I've been saying it for a long time", he added.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said that a note had apparently fallen out of Cheurfi's pocket that defended the Islamic State. And what can you say?

"This last dramatic event shows, I believe, that we must remain humble" despite the extraordinary mobilization of anti-terrorism forces, he said.

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Trump supported Britain's decision to leave the European Union and has previously said he expected other countries to do the same. He declared the 2015 Iran nuclear deal failed to achieve its stated objective of preventing Tehran from becoming a nuclear state.


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