June 2017 Champs-Élysées car ramming attack

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2017 Champs-Élysées attack
Location Champs-Élysées, Paris, France
Date 19 June 2017
3:40pm
Target National Gendarmerie
Attack type
Vehicle-ramming attack, attempted car bombing
Weapons Car, explosives
Deaths 1 (attacker)
Non-fatal injuries
0
Perpetrator Djaziri Adam Lotfi
Motive Islamic terrorism[1]

On 19 June 2017, a car loaded with guns and explosives was rammed into a convoy of Gendarmerie vehicles on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France.[1] The driver, identified as Djaziri Adam Lotfi was killed as a detonation clouded the car in orange smoke.[1] The attacker had been on terrorism watchlists for Islamic extremism since 2014, and pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before the attack.[1] In a letter to his family he stated that he for years had supported "the Mujahedeen who fight to save Islam and the Muslims," having practiced shooting "to prepare for jihad," and stated that the attack should be treated as a "martyrdom operation."[1]

Background[edit]

Police officers, gendarmes and soldiers providing security in France have also previously been targeted by jihadists, with at least twelve such targeted attacks on police and soldiers between 2012 and 2017.[2] The attack came two months after another attack on the Champs-Élysées in April, in which three police officers and a tourist were shot by a man wielding an AK-47, killing one police officer.[1] The Islamic State has encouraged the targeting of police and soldiers on the grounds that they represent the state.[3][4][5] The attack is one of several Islamic State-inspired vehicle-ramming attacks on European cities.[6][7] Le Monde reported that since January 2015, terrorist attacks in France have left 239 dead.[8]

Incident[edit]

At 3:40 pm local time in Paris a convoy of Gendarmerie vans was driving up the Champs-Élysées when someone rammed his Renault Mégane into the lead vehicle in the Gendarmerie convoy. The Renault immediately caught fire.[9][10] The car contained an AK-47 assault rifle, handguns, a gas canister, as well as a quantity of explosives sufficient to "blow this car up."[11][12] The attacker was killed and the incident came under counter-terrorism investigation.[11][10] The Department of Interior stated that explosives had been found in his car. The French Minister of the Home Office, Gérard Collomb, spoke of a planned attack. The attacker was known by the police.[13] A letter written by the perpetrator declaring his allegiance to the Islamic State was found inside the vehicle.[7]

Perpetrator[edit]

The attacker was identified as Djaziri (alt. Dzaziri) Adam Lotfi, 31, a resident of the northwestern Paris suburb of Argenteuil.[14] He was a scion of a "Salafist family".[15] The perpetrator had been included on the "S" file,[16][17] i.e., was a "an individual considered to be a serious threat to national security." The reason for his inclusion on the fiche S was his belonging to the "radical islamist movement".[18][14][9] He was known by the police. Even though he was considered dangerous, he got a weapon license.[19]

The attacker had obtained a legal permit to own a gun; authorities were unable to explain why the permit had not been withdrawn when he was added to the terrorism watch list.[20] On the day following the attack, four relatives of the driver were taken into police custody.[10]

On the day of the attack, the perpetrator mailed letters pledging his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.[21]

At least two different photos of the perpetrator emerged in the Internet. On Youtube videos it showed a middle aged man, while on Kapitalis.com showed a man in his early twenties.[22]

Claim of responsibility[edit]

On 13 July 2017, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a list of attacks it carried out during the holy month of Ramadan, including another failed bombing at Brussels Central Station on 20 June, the day after the Champs-Élysées attack.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Prosecutor: Champs-Elysees attacker pledged allegiance to IS". ABC News. Associated Press. 22 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Timeline: How jihadists have targeted soldiers and police in France". The Local. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Feds Warn of ISIS-Inspired Threat Against Police, Reporters in US". NBC News. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "European terror attacks increasingly targeting police, security forces". Fox News Channel. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Suspected Bomb Lab Found Near Paris, 2 Arrested". NDTV. AFP. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Abraham, Bobbins (18 August 2017). "A Brief History Of How Islamic State Has Turned Vehicles Into Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Europe". India Times. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Dearden, Lizzie (17 August 2017). "Barcelona attack mirrors Isis' repeated calls for massacres in Europe using vehicles". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Champs-Elysées : des gendarmes attaqués, Collomb dénonce une 'tentative d'attentat'" [Champs-Elysées: gendarmes attacked, Collomb denounces 'attempted assassination']. Le Monde (in French). 19 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Bredeen, Aurelein (19 June 2017). "Armed Man Is Killed After Driving Into Police Convoy on Champs-Élysée". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c Bell, Melissa (19 June 2017). "Car rams police van on Champs-Elysees, armed suspect dead". CNN. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Henley, Jon (19 June 2017). "Champs Élysées: driver dead as car carrying firearms rams police van". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Champs-Elysees attack car 'had guns and gas' – Paris police". BBC. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Paris: Mutmaßlicher Attentäter rammt Polizeiwagen auf Champs-Élysées" [Paris: The Champs-Élysées attacker is said to have been a police-minded Islamist]. Die Zeit (in German). 19 June 2017. ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  14. ^ a b McAuley, James (19 June 2017). "Driver dies after ramming car into police vehicle on Champs-Elysees in probable terrorist attack". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Attentat raté sur les Champs-Élysées contre des gendarmes par un islamiste radicalisé" [Attack on the Champs-Elysées: four members of the assailant's family in police custody]. La Dépêche du Midi (in French). Retrieved 19 June 2017. Issu d'une famille salafiste, l'auteur, Djaziri Adam Lotfi, qui n'avait jamais été condamné, était fiché S (pour Sûreté de l'État) depuis 2015 pour son appartenance à la 'mouvance islamiste radicale' 
  16. ^ "EN DIRECT – Info TF1/LCI : les enquêteurs ont retrouvé 9041 munitions dans la voiture de l'assaillant des Champs-Élysées" [LIVE - TF1 / LCI Info: Investigators found 9041 ammunition in the car of the assailant of the Champs-Élysées] (in French). LCI. 
  17. ^ "Tentative d'attentat sur les Champs-Élysées : un assaillant fiché S" [Attempted attack on the Champs-Élysées: an assailant filed S] (in French). Francetvinfo.fr. 19 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Un islamiste tente de faire exploser sa voiture sur les Champs-Élysées" [An Islamist tries to blow up his car on the Champs-Élysées]. Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 19 June 2017. Djaziri Adam L., âgé de 31 ans et né en France, était fiché S depuis septembre 1995, en raison de son appartenance à la 'mouvance islamiste radicale' 
  19. ^ "Angriff auf Champs-Élysées: Angreifer von Paris war IS-Anhänger" [Attack on Champs-Élysées: attacker from Paris was IS supporter]. Die Zeit (in German). 20 June 2017. ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Paris: 4 family members detained after Champs-Elysees attack". ABC News. Associated Press. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  21. ^ Dickey, Christopher (23 June 2017). "There Are So Many Attacks It's a Terror Blur, But Those Who Keep Track Are Very Worried". Daily Beast. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "Attentat des Champs-Elysées : ce que l'on sait de Adam Lofti Djaziri". Dreuz.info (in French). Retrieved 2018-09-07. 
  23. ^ "Daech revendique les attaques ratées de Paris et Bruxelles en juin" [Daech claims missed attacks from Paris and Brussels in June]. Le Parisien (in French). 13 July 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 

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