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Tuesday 27 September 2016

'Euros to be graveyard' warns jihadi cop killer

Larossi Abballa posted a video on Facebook after the attack Picture: Reuters
Larossi Abballa posted a video on Facebook after the attack Picture: Reuters

A suspected Islamist who stabbed to death a police commander and his wife in France warned in a video he posted online after the killings that Euro 2016 would become a "graveyard".

Larossi Abballa, a 25-year-old known to French security services, pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State (IS) in a 13-minute live broadcast on his Facebook.

He also said he was responding to a call last month by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, an IS spokesman, for followers in Europe and the US to rise up and carry out attacks in its name during the holy month of Ramadan.

The attacker, who went to jail in 2013 for helping Islamist militants go to Pakistan and had been monitored by security services, repeatedly knifed the 42-year-old commander, named locally as Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, in the stomach late on Monday.

He then barricaded himself inside the house in Magnanville, a suburb some 60km west of Paris, taking the policeman's partner and three-year-old son hostage.

Wounds

His partner (36), an administrative police official, was found dead in the house with her throat cut. The boy was unharmed but in a state of shock, officials said. He was taken to a children's hospital.

They found three phones and three knives, including one covered in blood on the table.

In his nearby car, they found a Koran, a white djellaba, and two books - one called "genuine belief" and another "explanation of the three foundations".

The video, posted on his Facebook account as police surrounded the couple's house, reportedly showed the suspect next to his victims, according to French radio station RFI.

The couple's son can be seen in the background. "I don't know what to do with it," the suspect is heard saying of the boy.

Abballa then calls for more attacks in France, particularly against the Euro 2016 stadiums and a list of police officers, prison guards, and journalists he names. He was shot dead by members of an elite police unit after negotiations failed.

Jérôme Bonet, police spokesman, said Abballa was "suicidal". He was under surveillance and his phone was tapped but Mr Bonet said there was "no definite indication" of a failure by investigators.

"The negotiation was brief because we were facing an individual who had absolutely no intention of negotiating," he said. "He made no particular demands. He was seeking confrontation and was quasi-suicidal."

A list of targets was found after the attack, which took place between 8pm and 8.20pm, and included the names of people and professions, "rappers, journalists, police and public figures". Three men aged 27, 29 and 44 were detained for questioning.

President Francois Hollande said the killings were "undeniably a terrorist act" and that the terrorist threat in France was very high.

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