French security services are today facing troubling questions as to how they failed to prevent an ISIS gunman from slaughtering one policeman and wounding two other officers in Paris when he was already on a terror watch list and was arrested as recently as February.
Karim Cheurfi , a 39-year-old father, was known as a threat to the country and described as an ‘extremist’ by authorities, who had placed him on a watch list. It’s believed he was radicalised while serving a 20-year jail sentence for attempting to kill two officers in 2001, before his release last year.
In February, the terrorist tried to obtain weapons and made threats to kill police officers, but was let go in early March due to lack of evidence.
Last night, the fanatic was killed by police after he got out of his Audi and opened fire at police stopped at a red light on Champs Elysees. His car was packed with more weapons, including a pump action shotgun and knives.
An note declaring allegiance to ISIS was discovered on the Champs Elysees and is being investigated by police.
Traffic officer Xavier Jugele, 37, died instantly with a shot to the head, while the other two were hurt before Cheurfi himself was gunned down by nearby armed police. A ricocheting bullet fired by the terrorist also wounded a female foreign tourist passing by.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and named the attacker as ‘Abu Yousuf al-Belgiki’, which translates to ‘the Belgian’ in Arabic – a name which was listed in uncovered documents from the terror group last year.
French officials revealed that Cheurfi was detained on February 23 this year, after it emerged he was trying to buy weapons ‘to kill police’.
He used the alias ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’ and reportedly made threats to murder officers using the social media app Telegram, an instant messaging service. The fanatic was set free due to lack of evidence on March 6.
Despite being put on a watch list and regarded as a threat to France, he was able to obtain a Kalashnikov, a pump action shotgun and several knives ahead of last night’s attack.