Attempted Islamic Terrorist Attack in Paris
Car Bomb Fail on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The car was loaded with gas bottles when it was deliberately driven into a police van on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in central Paris yesterday afternoon. The car caught fire, but did not explode. The driver of the vehicle died at the scene. No law enforcement officers or civilian bystanders were hurt.
As well as gas bottles, the police found an AK-47 assault rifle and handguns in the car, indicating that a significant act of terrorism was planned. The Champs-Élysées district is popular with tourists, especially in summer.
Security Forces Targeted
French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said:
Security forces have been targeted in France once again. The threat is extremely high.
The police department tweeted a warning at 4:20 pm Monday, saying that a security operation was underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and advised people to avoid the area. French police officials made a statement at 4:25 pm, providing further details.
The BBC‘s correspondent reported from Paris that a white Renault Mégane could be seen standing in the middle of the empty avenue with one door open. A bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs were also at the scene.
Driver Named, ISIS Claims Responsibility
Authorities sought to keep the identitiy of the driver secret while investigations were ongoing, but confirmed that he was known to the security services and posed a threat to national security. the Washington Post later pubished his name as 31-year-old Djaziri Adam Lotfi.
The Amaq News Agency of ISIS imediately claimed responsibility for this attack.
France is still under a state of emergency after being targeted by a wave of Islamic terrorist attacks in recent years.
A policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in an attack on the Champs-Élysées in April, just days before the first round of the presidential election.
Collomb will propose a bill on Wednesday to further extend the current state of emergency in France.