Orly airport: France launches terror investigation

The father of the French man shot dead at Orly airport in Paris after attacking a soldier said Sunday his son was "not a terrorist" and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.

A man who attacked soldiers at Paris Orly airport on Saturday (March 18) carried a petrol can and shouted he was there to "die for Allah", Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

French policemen secure the area at Paris Orly Airport on Saturday after the shooting of a man by French security forces.

Toxicology tests conducted on Belgacem's body revealed that he had almost twice the legal limit of alcohol for driving in France in his blood as well as "traces of cocaine and cannabis" in his system.

Belgacem's father and brother were both arrested yesterday and taken into custody by French authorities, his father was later released. 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.

The father of the Orly Airport attacker said his son called him before the assault to beg for forgiveness.

A few hours after the terror incident at the Orly Airport in France, the Paris Prosecutor stated tonight that the incident is being investigated as an attempted terror attack.

French president Francois Hollande later announced that the investigation into the attack was being handled by anti-terrorism prosecutors, and that subsequent anti-terrorism operations were already underway following the incident.

Paris is on high alert after yesterday's two attacks.

Belgacem's plans were unclear, adding that an investigation will determine whether he acted as a "lone wolf", Molins said.

Passengers were told not to come to the airport, the Mirror reported, and all flights were redirected to Charles DeGaulle Airport, officials said. "He drank. But under the effects of alcohol and cannabis, this is where one ends up", said the father.

"With a pistol in his right hand and a bag over his shoulder, he grabbed (the soldier) with his left arm, made her move backward by three to four meters (yards), positioning her as a shield, and pointed his revolver at her forehead", Molins said.

Le Roux also praised the swift response of security forces at the airport.

His father confirmed Mr Molins's assertion that Mr Belgacem had phoned him after the first incident.

With the country in the throes of a highly charged election campaign before a two-round presidential election in April and May, the attacks fuelled the political debate about security. He also stole a vehicle before arriving at the airport. France has been under a state of emergency since November that year.

But normal flight operations were later said to be resuming, the Paris airports operator said.

An global rugby match, France versus Wales, was due to take place in Paris later on Saturday which the British royals were due to attend.

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