Paris attacker who killed officer left note supporting ISIS

Elizabeth Williams
April 23, 2017

A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in a shooting in central Paris on Thursday night before the gunman himself was killed by officers, police and the Interior Ministry said.

Two police officials say the chief suspect in the fatal attack on police officers patrolling the Champs-Elysees in Paris was a 39-year-old man from a suburb east of the French capital.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the shooting of police officers in Paris is the "latest reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere, anytime".

Immediately after the attack, Le Pen reiterated her calls for border controls and a crackdown on radical Islam.

Here is what we now know about the shooting, which occurred three days before the first round of the French election. He was killed and two officers were wounded during the ensuing gun battle. But his lawyer strongly denied his client had anything to 'do with the attack and said a police raid at the man's home was linked to another criminal investigation.

France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed more than 230 people.

Asked about the Abu Yusuf Al-Beljiki pseudonym given by ISIS, Jambon said he "is certainly not the guy who committed the crime".

The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed the perpetrator as one of its "fighters" and a note praising IS was found near his body.

Thursday's attack happened around 9 p.m. Paris time when authorities say the gunman in a vehicle pulled up alongside a parked law enforcement van on the city's most well-know stretch and opened fire.

Concern is quickly growing over security issues for Sunday's election vote.

President Francois Hollande said he was convinced the circumstances of the attack in a country pointed to a terrorist act. "We are in a war that will last: the enemy is powerful, its networks are deep, its accomplices live among us", Fillon said.

After killing the officer and injuring his colleagues just a few hundred meters from the Arc de Triomphe, the gunman was shot dead in return fire while trying to flee on foot, police sources told AFP.

Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.

French President François Hollande convened a meeting of the country's defense council Friday.

Republican Francois Fillon, the National Front's Marine Le Pen, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and Socialist Benoit Hamon all cancelled events planned for Friday and instead made televised statements about how they'd fight terrorism.

Other reports by VgToday

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