Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Paris airport gunman's dad says his son wasn't a terrorist

French authorities are still working to determine whether a man shot dead at Paris' Orly airport acted on impulse or carefully planned an attack. The Paris prosecutor said that the attacker, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, shouted Islamic slogans, before being fatally shot by security staff.

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said at a press conference that the man was known to the police and intelligence services.

In 2001, he was sentenced to five years in prison for armed robbery and in 2009, he was back in jail for drug trafficking. "Whatever happens, there will be deaths", Molins said.

Belgacem was shot dead by two other soldiers at the scene.

No victims has been reported at Orly airport where 3,000 passengers were forced to evacuate and 178 flights have been cancelled and others diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris. "But under the effects of alcohol and cannabis, this is where one ends up", the father said during an interview with French radio Europe 1 on Sunday. In that instance, the attacker, brandishing two long knives, attacked soldiers patrolling in the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall between the subway station closest to the museum and one of the museum's entrances.

"He called me at seven, eight in the morning and said: 'There you go, Papa.' He was extremely angry, even his mother couldn't understand him", he said.

The results of the autopsy came later in the same the day that Belgacem's father, who had been questioned in relation to the shooting and subsequently released by police, rebutted accusations that his son was a terrorist.

The anti-terrorism prosecutor is investigating the motives and circumstances of Saturday's attack and the existence of any accomplices, according to a presidential statement. As he showed his ID papers, he pulled out a gun and fired bird shot, injuring an officer in the face.

He tried to seize a servicewoman's automatic weapon, put his gun to her head and said: "I'm here to die for Allah".

Ramata Dieng, whose brother Dieng died of asphyxiation during a 2007 arrest where police harshly restrained him and held him against the floor, said: "We demand that police not be above the law".

These include coordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 in Paris when 130 people were killed and scores injured.

France remains on high alert following a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed over 230 lives since January 2015.

This was the fourth attack against security forces deployed as part of France's Operation Sentinel, said the French defence minister.

Paris Orly Airport is France's second-busiest airport, with worldwide and domestic air traffic.

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