Paris Orly attack: Drugs and alcohol found in gunman's blood

Paris Orly attack: Drugs and alcohol found in gunman's blood

Paris Orly attack: Drugs and alcohol found in gunman's blood

French anti-terrorism authorities are leading the investigation into the Saturday incident at Paris Orly Airport that left an alleged attacker dead and shut down two terminals.

The Paris prosecutors' office said toxicology tests conducted as part of an autopsy found traces of cocaine and cannabis in the blood of the suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem.

Interior minister Bruno Le Roux has previously said Belgacem was known to French intelligence services.

Career criminal Ziyed Ben Belgacem triggered a major scare at Orly worldwide airport south of Paris on Saturday morning when wrestled a gun from a female soldier on patrol - before grabbing her and putting the rifle to her head.

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

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Mr Belgacem stopped at a bar in the small hours of Saturday before his first attack, when he shot a gendarme with a revolver loaded with birdshot.

An earlier search of Belgacem's home had found several grams of cocaine, the prosecutor said.

Belgacem's father, whose name has not been provided, said that his son was not an extremist and added that what he did was due to the overdose of drugs and alcohol. He would never pray.

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Authorities say Belgacem then headed to a bar in Vitry-sur-Seine, where he had spent the night, and fired four shots with the stolen gun.

More than 230 people have died in France in the past two years at the hands of attackers allied to the militant Islamist group Islamic State, whose strongholds in Syria and Iraq are being bombed by an worldwide coalition including France. French media said his family was of Tunisian origin.

The man's father and brother were taken into police custody, a judicial source said.

After the attack, Orly airport was closed temporarily due to the security scare but it was reopened after a short while.

Nobody was hurt in the incident which comes as France remains on high alert following a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed over 230 lives since January 2015.

He said his son phoned him to say before the attack: "I ask your forgiveness". That auto was found near Orly. He drew a gun and fired shots at the officers, slightly injuring one in the head, before fleeing. It was this second auto, which security officials found in the parking lot, that allowed authorities to link the shooting in Garges-lès-Gonesse to the Orly airport attack hours later, said Molins.

The soldier was threatened by the man but "struggled and managed to keep her weapon, fighting against her attacker on the ground", a statement posted to Facebook by the French military read.

Ninety minutes later, he attacked the military patrol at Orly, causing panic and the shutdown of the city's second-biggest airport.

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