ISIS claims credit for fatal Paris attack - Tucson News Now

ISIS claims credit for fatal Paris attack

French police gather at the Champs Elysee in Paris. One officer is dead in a shooting. (Source: CNN) French police gather at the Champs Elysee in Paris. One officer is dead in a shooting. (Source: CNN)

PARIS (RNN) - ISIS has said it was behind the shooting in Paris that left at least one police officer dead and two others gravely wounded in the heart of Paris.The assailant was shot dead by police in an exchange of gunfire on the Champs Elysees.

SITE Intel, a U.S.-based organization that monitors worldwide terror groups, reported ISIS' claims of responsibility for the attack that came came days before the first round of the French presidential election.

A statement from the ISIS news agency Amaq said the man was named Abu Yussef, according to Agency French Press, a French news agency. The Associated Press reported that on Friday French authorities searched a home believed tied to the attack. The residence is located in an eastern Paris suburb.  

French President Francois Hollande said he believes the attack is terror-related, though officials have stopped short of saying so.

 A police spokeswoman told Associated Press that the gunman targeted police guarding a metro station. BFMTV reported that the killer was known to security administrations and had talked about killing police officers on message boards.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandit said that the suspect got out of a car and opened fire on a police van, killing one officer. The gunman tried to run, and wounded two other officers as he fled before he was killed.

Brandit said it is too early to know if the gunman had an accomplice.

Brandit stopped short of calling the incident a terrorist attack, saying that authorities are looking at many possible motives, and that terror investigators are part of the investigation.

A massive police presence remained at the Champs Elysees long after the attacks. People have been told to say away from the area, which includes the shopping district popular with tourists.

President Donald Trump offered condolences to the people of France during a joint news conference with the Italian prime minister.

"It looks like another terrorist attack," Trump said. "We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant. What can you say? It just never ends."

The attack came three days before the French presidential election. The shooting started during the last TV show with all 11 presidential candidates before the first round of the election on Sunday. The show was interrupted by reports of the shooting, AP reported.

There are 11 total candidates, but the five front runners include  Francois Fillon, Benoit Hamon, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Melenchon.

If no candidate claims a majority in the first round – which is likely – there will be a run-off between the top two candidates on May 7.

France has been plagued by terrorism since the horrific attacks of November 2015 that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured.

  • On Feb. 3, a man with a knife attacked a group of soldiers guarding the Louvre in Paris.
  • On July 26, 2016, two armed men cut a priest's throat and told others hostage in a church in Normandy during Mass. Police killed the attackers, who ISIS claimed as followers.
  • An attacker took a truck and drove down a crowded street in Nice during a Bastille Day celebration, killing 84. The Tunisian-born French citizen was killed by law enforcement.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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