Islamic State-linked Larossi Abballa films himself stabbing officer and his partner to death in presence of their toddler son
(SOURCE) A man with links to fundamentalist Islamic terror groups who killed a French policeman and his partner on Monday night was said to have broadcast the attack live on social media via his mobile phone.
Larossi Abballa, 25, recorded the attack and posted it on Facebook Live, according to French officials. In the 13-minute video Abballa could be seen stabbing the police commander and his partner to death outside their suburban Paris home as their three-year-old son watched in horror.
French security expert David Thomson said the video, along with 15 photos, appeared on Abballa’s Facebook profile – under the name “Mohamed Ali” – before it was suspended hours after the attack.
Next to one photo, in which the child could be seen in the background, Abella wrote, “I still don’t know what I’m going to do with him,” Thomson said.
During the attack, Abballa reportedly turned to the camera and pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying that he was heeding the organization’s call for lone-wolf attacks during the month of Ramadan, which began last week. He then warned that Europe would become a “graveyard.”
A Facebook profile bearing the name Larossi Abballa — which vanished from the internet early Tuesday — showed a photo of a smiling, bearded man. Two recent posts featured videos critical of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The last publicly available post was a mock-up of the logo of the ongoing European Championship soccer tournament, highlighting what the poster said were masonic and occult symbols.
“Some will say we see evil everywhere!” Abballa said in a message posted about 18 hours before the attack.
The Islamic State’s Amaq news agency cited an unnamed source as saying an IS fighter carried out the attack late Monday. While the extremist group has not officially claimed responsibility, French President Francois Hollande said it was “incontestably a terrorist act” and that France faces a threat “of a very large scale.”
Two people close to the attacker were detained, authorities said Tuesday. They gave no details about them.
France has been on particularly high alert as it hosts Europe’s top sporting event, a month-long soccer tournament, and is still under a state of emergency after the November IS attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
Hollande held an emergency security meeting Tuesday.
“France is not the only country concerned (by the terrorist threat), as we have seen, again, in the United States, in Orlando,” he said.
Abbala was from the nearby suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie, and was sentenced in 2013 to three years in prison for recruiting fighters for jihad in Pakistan, according to two police officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named discussing investigations.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve visited the police station in the suburb of Les Mureaux where 42-year-old Jean-Baptiste Salvaing worked. Police did not identify his partner but said she was an administrator for police in Mantes-La-Jolie.
Cazeneuve said more than 100 people seen as potential threats have been arrested in France this year, including in recent weeks.
France, like other countries in Europe, has seen a series of stabbings aimed at police officers or soldiers and carried out by Muslim radicals. IS has encouraged its supporters to stage such attacks.