Champs Elysees attacker stashed weapons, was on French watchlist | Reuters

By Emmanuel Jarry and Richard Lough | PARIS PARIS A man who rammed a car into a police van in Paris stored a cache of weapons at his home and held a gun permit despite being on a secret service list of people linked to radical Islam, police sources and French officials said on Tuesday.A judicial source said investigators were compiling an inventory of the arms and equipment found in the 31-year-old's home.

Reuters June 20, 2017 21:58:21 IST
Champs Elysees attacker stashed weapons, was on French watchlist
| Reuters

Champs Elysees attacker stashed weapons was on French watchlist
 Reuters

By Emmanuel Jarry and Richard Lough
| PARIS

PARIS A man who rammed a car into a police van in Paris stored a cache of weapons at his home and held a gun permit despite being on a secret service list of people linked to radical Islam, police sources and French officials said on Tuesday.A judicial source said investigators were compiling an inventory of the arms and equipment found in the 31-year-old's home. The man, who died in the attack, was also carrying in his car an assault rifle, two pistols, ammunition and two large gas canisters when he rammed a police convoy on Monday.Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the individual first received a permit to possess a gun before he was flagged to intelligence agencies as a potential militant threat. At the time there was no reason to deny him the permit, Philippe said.Philippe said it was "quite possible" the licence was active at the time the attacker was on a security watchlist. Three sources close to the investigation confirmed it was. "Nobody can be happy, and certainly not me, that someone who has been flagged to security agencies can continue to benefit from such an authorisation," Philippe told BFM TV.The man was placed on France's so called 'Fiche S' watchlist after he was found to belong to a radical Islamist movement, two police sources said.

Individuals on the list are placed under surveillance though the intensity of that surveillance varies depending on the perceived threat the individual poses.Philippe said draft legislation drawn up in May envisaged changes to allow officials who handle gun permits to check if individuals seeking licences are on a watchlist. ARRESTS

But refusing permits in such cases had it drawbacks, he said. "If you revoke the authorisation of someone who is under surveillance, they're going to know why."On Monday, witnesses saw the man being pulled from the car as thick yellow smoke poured out.Police arrested four of his close relatives in a raid south of Paris late on Monday, a police source said. They included his father and brother.

France has been on high alert after a wave of militant Islamist attacks over the past two years, including most recently an attack on police outside the Notre Dame Cathedral and an Islamic State-claimed attack on police on the Champs Elysees in April.In July last year, 86 people were killed when a truck ploughed through a crowd in Nice, and similar incidents have occurred in other European cities.Philippe said the government would be presenting a draft law soon to toughen counter-terrorism legislation."We need to find legal instruments that at once guarantee that we continue to live in a Fifth Republic which safeguards freedoms and ensure the security of French people," Philippe said. (Additional reporting by Marine Pennetier and Brian Love; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied