French Police Wound, Nab Suspect in Paris Car Plowing Attack against Soldiers

Military officers set up a security perimeter near the site where six soldiers of the anti-terrorism Sentinel operation were hit by a car in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, France, 09 August 2017. Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

  • French police have wounded and detained the suspect in the car plowing attack against soldiers in Paris.
  • Reports have identified the man as a 37-year-old Algerian national.
  • Three out of the six injured soldiers sustained more serious injuries but none was in a life-threatening condition.
  • France’s Prosecutor’s Office is investigating a ‘terrorist undertaking’.
  • Attack has been seen as evidence that France needs to keep its Operation Sentinel in which soldiers patrol the streets to prevent terrorist attacks.

French police have shot and arrested a man suspect in committing Wednesday’s “deliberate” car plowing attack against a group of soldiers near their barracks in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.

Over the past two years, France has been hit by over 20 terrorist attacks causing over 240 deaths, which are claimed to have been organized by the ISIS terrorist group (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), or linked to it.

The most shocking of those have been the mass shooting at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 which claimed 17 lives, the November 2015 shooting in Paris which claimed 130 lives (the single deadliest terrorist attack in French history), and the cargo truck plowing through crowds celebrating the 2016 Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, in Nice, which resulted in 86 deaths.

In addition to extremists targeting French civilians, the number of terrorist attacks targeting French security services seems to be growing as well.

Last Saturday, a young man tried to force his way into the Eiffel Tower with a knife, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest” is Arabic). A source said he told investigators he wanted to kill a soldier

In June, police shot a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

In an attack on April 20, a gunman killed police officer Xavier Jugele on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, and wounded two others before being shot dead.

In February, a man armed with a machete attacked a security patrol at Paris’s Louvre Museum

Ever since the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in January 2015, French soldiers have been patrolling the streets in Paris and other cities under Operation “Sentinel”.

‘Terrorist Undertaking’

A man has been shot and arrested in relation to Wednesday morning’s assault when anti-terror soldiers in the northwestern suburbs of Paris were attacked with a car, leaving six injured, AFP reported.

The man, aged in his late 30s, was intercepted on the A16 motorway north of the French capital in the vehicle, a BMW, that he used to drive into the soldiers.

After a chase, armed officers opened fire, wounding the driver, who was then arrested, sources involved in the manhunt said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

One source close to the case said the man had been stopped as he was driving towards the northern port of Calais.

“The arrested individual, born in 1980, is suspected to be the culprit” of the assault in the Levallois-Perret area of Paris, a second legal source said.

“He was driving the vehicle we were looking for and tried to flee,” leading police to open fire, the source added.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers in parliament that the “main suspect” had been detained. One policeman was injured by a stray bullet in the operation.

A judicial source cited by France24 said the suspect was an Algerian national who held legitimate papers to be in France.

Investigators raided several properties associated with the suspect, identified by the daily newspaper Le Parisien as 37-year-old Hamou B.

According to the most recent reports, three of the soldiers, not two, sustained more serious wounds in the incident.

France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb described the act as “deliberate” and carried out by a “man on his own”.

He spoke after visiting three of the injured soldiers along with Defense Minister Florence Parly. All six were taken to hospital, but none has life-threatening injuries, they said.

Parly stated that Wednesday’s attack was proof there remained an active threat and that the 7,000-strong Sentinel force “was more necessary than ever”.

The Paris prosecutors’ office said its anti-terrorism unit has launched a probe into “attempted killings… in relation to a terrorist undertaking”.

Earlier, the Mayor of Levallois-Perret, Patrick Balkany, described the incident as “without doubt a deliberate act”.

France is part of the US-led international coalition fighting the ISIS terrorist group, and has carried out air strikes against the extremist group in Syria.

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