Tuesday June 14, 2016 – PARIS — The suspect in the killings of a police commander and his partner in a Paris suburb pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and had a list of other targets, the Paris prosecutor said.
François Molins told a news conference Tuesday that the suspect, Larossi Abballa, was responding to a statement by the militant group calling on followers to attack “non-believers” in their homes.
His targets included rappers, journalists, police officers and public officials, Molins said.
Molins said Abballa stabbed Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, a police commander in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux, to death outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles northwest of central Paris on Monday evening. Salvaing was dressed in plain clothes.
Abballa, 25, entered the house and held the commander’s partner and their 3-year-old son hostage before killing the woman, who Molins said was a police administrator in the suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie.
Police stormed the house and killed the attacker and the woman was found dead. Molins said the young boy was found safe and well but was “very shocked” and was taken to hospital.
President François Hollande said Tuesday the killings were “incontestably a terrorist act.” He said that France was facing a terror threat “of a very large scale.”
“France is not the only country concerned, as we have seen, again, in the United States, in Orlando,” Hollande said.
Molins said the attacker posted a 12-minute video claiming responsibility for the killings on Facebook. He said he also posted two tweets during the evening. Three knives were seized, including one covered in blood, and a Quran was found in a car near the scene, Molins said.
An elite police unit negotiated with the attacker who said he was a soldier for the Islamic State, French officials confirmed.
Molins said three people aged 27, 29 and 44 were detained Tuesday in connection with the investigation.
Mohamed Droussim the rector of Abballa’s neighborhood mosque, said he showed up to pray a few hours before the killings after rarely attending services in the last few months and only left when he was told the mosque was closing, the AP reported.
Abballa was previously convicted of terrorism for recruiting fighters for jihad in Pakistan, according to multiple media outlets.
The Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said an Islamic State fighter carried out the attack, citing an unnamed source.