Paris Shooter Allegedly Known to Police – Terrorist Claims – Election Events Cancelled
nsnbc : French prosecutor François Molins said Thursday night “The identity of the attacker is known and has been verified.” However, he would not name his name due to “the ongoing investigation. The shooting Thursday night on Paris’s Champs Élysées that resulted in one dead and two injured police officers and a dead, alleged gunman, came only days before presidential elections and as French presidential candidates head about the incident live on TV during their last debate before Sunday’s election.
The name of the apparently 39-year-old French gunman is still being withheld due to the “ongoing investigation”. Police stated that he was on their radar before because he was arrested in February on suspicions of planning to kill officers, before being released due to lack of evidence. The shooter “reportedly” used an automatic rifle, no details about the weapon were released either.
Other “sources” claim that the suspect was convicted in 2005 on three counts of attempted murder, with two of these against police officers. nsnbc cannot currently verify the veracity of any of the above mentioned claims because it is currently not possible to positively identify the alleged gunman, nor verify his alleged guilt. With the alleged shooter being dead one must fear that also this incident will ultimately never come before a court of law and that questions therefore will remain.
The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) news outlet Amaq published an article stating the attacker was “one of the Islamic State’s fighters”. The statement in Amaq identified the alleged attacker as Abu Yussef al-Belgiki, a “nom de guerre” that would suggest the person could be Belgian.
The Belgian prosecutor responded on Friday stressing that there was no indication the Paris attacker was Belgian or from Belgium. Considering that no name, no independently verifiable testimony, or other evidence has been presented to the media so far, the responsible thing to say at present is that there is no evidence – period!
All that we currently can report is that an unnamed person, allegedly, shot three unnamed police officers, that a currently unverifiable claim was published in Dabiq, that the incident, according to French President Francois Hollande is being “treated as an act of terrorism”, and that raids took place at his address in the quiet, middle-class suburb of Chelles in the department of Seine-et-Marne, east of Paris. (nsnbc invites witnesses who may have direct evidence to call our newspaper at the phone number or contact provided at the end of this article.)
Friday morning police were according to the Interior Ministry “hunting for a new suspect”. The second person of interest was identified by Belgian security officials and flagged to French authorities said French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet to reporters on Friday morning.
The incident happened while eleven presidential candidates were preparing for the last televised debate before Sunday’s first round in the presidential elections. It’s noteworthy that the three main candidates, Marine Le Pen from the Front National, centrist Emmanuel Macron and conservative Francois Fillon immediately cancelled campaign events planned for Friday.
Cancelling events may be linked to concerns about security but may also have the side effect that participants in such events and snappy reporters cannot ask these candidates questions about the French “political and other contributions” to the rise of the Islamic State and other Islamist insurgencies and terrorist groups since the French adventure in Libya and Syria began in 2011 – 12.
Moreover, surveys have shown that the citizens of France are not easily spooked by alleged or real terrorist attacks – and that the risk of becoming a victim, despite all media mania, is smaller than the risk of having a housekeeping accident. Surveys show clearly that voters are more concerned about their spending power, the economy and unemployment than about terrorism.
That said, with France still being under emergency rule, French President Francois Hollande promised “absolute vigilance, particularly with regard to the electoral process” and paid tribute to the police. He said he was “convinced that the shooting was a terrorist act” and cancelled a trip to northwestern Brittany. He will chair a security cabinet meeting instead. Not that it would be surprising, but Hollande did not make any statements on how French foreign policy may be linked to the rise of radical Islamist terrorist groups.
CH/L – nsnbc 21.04.2017
Persons with independently verifiable, direct evidence, witness testimony (not hearsay), and other relevant information can contact nsnbc international by telephone at +45 71 486 488, or by Skype at nsnbc.international.