Terror Attack Attempt in Paris Results in Zero Victims, Death of Perpetrator


PARIS (AP) - French police detained four family members of a man who was killed after ramming his auto into a Paris police convoy, as authorities struggled Tuesday to explain how the Champs-Elysees attacker was able to keep his gun permit despite being monitored for links to extremism.

Police sources told AFP that they found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, two handguns as well as a gas bottle on the vehicle.

French security forces are on high alert after a series of deadly attacks since early 2015, majority claimed by the Islamic State extremist organization, which have killed over 230 people.

The country remains under a state of emergency imposed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when militants slaughtered 130 people in a night of carnage at venues across the city.

Police warned the public to stay away from the Champs-Elysees, a popular tourist attraction.

The gunman in that attack had previous convictions for attempted murder of police officers not related to terrorism, but authorities said a piece of paper found near his body bore a message of support for Islamic State, which claimed the killing. One man died at the scene, but it was not immediately clear whether he was killed by the attacker's actions or some other cause.

"This once again shows that the threat level in France is extremely high", Collomb was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The man, who was known to French security services, died in the incident, officials said.

Monday's collision was the second terror attack on the Champs Elysees in recent months.

The interior minister said he would be introducing a bill on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from 15 July, when it is set to expire, until 1 November.

No officers or civilians were injured in the attack.

Monday's incident came less than a day after a vehicle attack on Muslim worshipers outside two mosques in north London.

Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene.

Tourists strolling France's most famous avenue watched on in horror as the auto burst into flames before police grabbed the driver, pulling him out.

Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin's works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attacker rammed into a police convoy on the nearby Champs-Elysees.

"I couldn't understand, but I find it really unusual that a vehicle would pass (police) vans and all of a sudden spit fire, " said Pfister.

Previous major attacks targeted the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015. Since March, the British capital has suffered two other terrorist attacks, one of which involved a vehicle attack on Westminster Bridge outside the Houses of Parliament.