Paris gunman's criminal past in focus as police hunt second suspect

By Using Emmanuel Jarry and John IrishThe Person who shot lifeless a French policeman in an Islamist militant assault had served time for armed assaults on regulation enforcement officers, police sources said on Friday, as authorities sought a 2nd suspect flagged With The Aid Of Belgian safety services.

The gunman, recognized as Karim Cheurfi, opened fire on a police vehicle parked on the Champs Elysees in Paris late on Thursday, killing one officer and injuring two others earlier than being shot useless.

The attack overshadowed the final day of campaigning for Sunday’s presidential election first spherical, bringing raw issues surrounding Islamist militancy to the fore.

Cheurfi, a French National who lived within the jap Paris suburb of Chelles, had been convicted for earlier armed assaults on regulation enforcement officers going again 16 years, the sources said, and was well known to authorities.

In Addition To the assault rifle used within the assault, he had a pump motion shotgun and knives in his automotive, the sources said. Three of his members of the family were placed in detention, the French interior ministry introduced on Friday.

Whereas in detention, Cheurfi had additionally shot and wounded a prison officer after seizing his gun. Eventually freed after serving most of his sentence, he was arrested once more this yr on suspicion of preparing an assault on police – however launched for lack of proof.

A French inside ministry spokesman confirmed on Friday that a manhunt used to be underway for a second person, based on knowledge from Belgian security services.

“It Can Be too early to claim how or whether or not he used to be related to what took place on the Champs Elysees,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet stated. “There are a certain selection of leads to take a look at. We Aren’t ruling anything out.”

A Potential 2d suspect used to be identified as Youssouf El Osri in a report considered By Using Reuters. Belgian security officials had warned French counterparts prior to the attack that El Osri was a “very bad particular person en path to France” aboard the Thalys high-speed teach.

The warning used to be circulated more widely among French safety services and products within the hour following the Champs Elysees assault.

Islamic State claimed accountability for the Champs Elysees taking pictures hours after the assault, in a remark deciding upon the attacker as “Abu Yousif the Belgian.”

El Osri’s connection with both Cheurfi or The Person named in Islamic State’s remark remained unclear on Friday.

Coming just days after police stated they’d foiled every other planned Islamist attack, arresting two men within the southern metropolis of Marseille, the Champs Elysees shooting dominated the ultimate day of election campaigning.

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, leader of the a long way-proper National Front, both talked up their difficult law-and-order stances Whereas centrist Entrance-runner Emmanuel Macron wired he was once additionally up to the challenge.

(Extra reporting Through John Irish, Gerard Bon and Yves Clarisse; Writing By Laurence Frost; Enhancing By Means Of Andrew Callus)

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