French police make several arrests in connection with a terror knife attack

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By Euronews
French police make several arrests in connection with a terror knife attack
  • *French parliament pays tribute to victims of knife terror attack
  • Police make three arrests
  • List of other possible targets found

French police have arrested three men in connection with the murder a police officer and police secretary at their home near Paris.

The arrests followed raids in a Parisian suburb where the killer – a self confessed jihadist once lived.

Larossi Abballa pledged allegiance to ISIL in a video uploaded inside the victims’ home before he was shot dead by officers.

List of targets

Jean-Baptiste Salvaing (42)and his partner, Jessica Schnieder (36) were stabbed in their home. Their 3-year-old son was found shocked but unharmed.

The family had not, it seems, been the only targets. According to police a list was found inside the house which included rap singers, journalists, police and public personalities.

Police also seized “three telephones, three knives, and in particular a bloody knife resting on the table.”

In Abballa’s car, parked beside the house, police reportedly found a Koran, a white robe and three religious books.

Prior conviction

  • On September 30 2013, Abballa had been sentenced to three years in prison for participating in a network that sent Frenchmen to Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight with al-Qaeda. Because he had already served two and a half years in preventive detention, he was released and put on probation.
  • Abballa had been under police surveillance since last February 11, in an investigation of a network that sent jihadist recruits to Syria. Wire taps on his phones are said to have provided no evidence that would have justified arresting him.

Political reaction

Reacting to the police killings, President Francois Hollande said France had mobilised considerable force against what he called “the very substantial terrorist threat confronting the country in order to defend French principles and values but also to fight Islamic terrorism and fanaticism everywhere.”

With Abballa previously known to police, some French conservatives have called for stricter measures.
However Prime Minister Manuel Valls reacted angrily…

He firmly rejected calls for the death penalty or a Guantanamo style prison or weapons sales because he knew what could be the result of such a model.

A minutes silence was then held by members of the National Assembly for the victims.