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Paris Orly airport is evacuated after 'a shooting' 





  • Convicted criminal, 39, was shot dead at the airport's south terminal 
  • Less than two hours earlier he had shot at three police officers during a routine stop-and-search
  • Authorities believe he had been radicalised in prison, and his father and brother had been arrested 
  • Witnesses recounted hearing 'four or five' shots, and the airport was evacuated
  • It comes at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the French capital 

By Dave Burke For Mailonline and Peter Allen In Paris for MailOnline

Published: 04:15 EDT, 18 March 2017 | Updated: 09:17 EDT, 18 March 2017

A convicted criminal with links to radical Islam sent a text message to his brother and father stating 'I shot the police', shortly before he was shot dead during an attack at Paris Orly airport.

The 39-year-old, identified by police sources as Zied B., was killed after wrestling a soldier's gun from her and fleeing into a McDonald's. 

Less than two hours earlier he had shot a female police officer in the head in a northern Paris suburb during a routine stop-and-search.

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A picture purported to show the man who was shot dead at Paris Orly airport this morning after snatching a soldier's gun A picture purported to show the man who was shot dead at Paris Orly airport this morning after snatching a soldier's gun

A picture purported to show the man who was shot dead at Paris Orly airport this morning after snatching a soldier's gun

Travelers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, which was evacuated this morning after a man was shot dead  Travelers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, which was evacuated this morning after a man was shot dead 

Travelers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, which was evacuated this morning after a man was shot dead 

The man opened fire on three police officers in Stains, in the north of Paris, at 6.55am. He fled in a Renault Clio, which was found in Vitry-sur-Seine, where a woman's car was stolen at gunpoint. He was shot dead after grabbing a soldier's gun at Orly airport at 8.30am  The man opened fire on three police officers in Stains, in the north of Paris, at 6.55am. He fled in a Renault Clio, which was found in Vitry-sur-Seine, where a woman's car was stolen at gunpoint. He was shot dead after grabbing a soldier's gun at Orly airport at 8.30am 

The man opened fire on three police officers in Stains, in the north of Paris, at 6.55am. He fled in a Renault Clio, which was found in Vitry-sur-Seine, where a woman's car was stolen at gunpoint. He was shot dead after grabbing a soldier's gun at Orly airport at 8.30am 

The wanted man's father and brother turned themselves in at a police station after receiving the message, according to French TV network BFM. They have been taken into custody, officials have confirmed.

WHAT HAPPENED IN PARIS THIS MORNING? 

French authorities have established a rudimentary timeline for the attack on Saturday at Orly Airport:

6.55am - The suspected attacker fires birdshot at police officers, wounding one in the face, when stopped for a traffic check. He flees, using a weapon to threaten a motorist and steal her car, which was later found at Orly Airport.

8.30am - The man assaults a patrol of three soldiers, all from the French air force. He wrestles one soldier, a woman, to the ground, and tries to take her weapon. 

After the police shooting in the suburb of Stains, at around 6.55am, the 39-year-old fled in a Renault Clio, which was found abandoned 11 miles away.

He then hijacked a woman's Citroen Picasso at gunpoint, and this second car was later found parked at the airport.

Today's incidents come as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Paris, where they have met with victims of terrorism. They were around 10 miles from the airport when the shooting happened.

Zied B. had previously been jailed for drug trafficking and authorities believe he was radicalised in prison.

Police sources said he was close to his family, and was staying with them at their flat on a council estate in Garges-lès-Gonesse, where he was first stopped this morning. 

The family are French and come from a Tunisian background. He was armed with a shotgun when he opened fire on police. He sped away in a Renault Clio, which was later found in Vitry, in the south of the city, containing a bloody t-shirt.

Here he hijacked a woman's car at gunpoint and drove to the airport. 

A source said: 'The Clio was found abandoned some thirty kilometres away with the man's identity papers and a bloodied T shirt. The man had hijacked a Citroen Picasso and made for Orly.'

Checks soon revealed that the man was subject to a 'File J' - meaning he was wanted by the judicial authorities but was not under surveillance.

The Paris prosecutors office said he was known to police for robbery and drug offenses. 

Prosecutors have not disclosed the man's name, but said he was born in 1978 and had nine unspecified infractions on his criminal record.

His family are from the Val d’Oise department north of Paris. 

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said the man shot dead at the airport is the same as the one who 'is linked with car hijacking' earlier.

The man had previously served time in prison for armed robbery and drug trafficking, and had been radicalized in prison, Le Parisien reports.

Anti-terror police stormed the airport searching for possible accomplices and explosives, and authorities have warned the public to stay away. All flights to the airport have been diverted.

Passengers landing at Orly were kept on planes while the anti-terror operation was carried out. 

A spokesman for the military force that patrols public sites in France says the soldier attacked at Orly Airport was 'shocked' but uninjured after the 'very violent aggression'.

The spokesman, Benoit Brulon, was speaking to BFM television.

Passengers landing at Orly were kept on planes while the anti-terror operation was carried out Passengers landing at Orly were kept on planes while the anti-terror operation was carried out

Passengers landing at Orly were kept on planes while the anti-terror operation was carried out

The airport was evacuated after the shooting, which happened at 8.30am today, less than two hours after the 39-year-old man had fired at three police officers on the opposite side of the city The airport was evacuated after the shooting, which happened at 8.30am today, less than two hours after the 39-year-old man had fired at three police officers on the opposite side of the city

The airport was evacuated after the shooting, which happened at 8.30am today, less than two hours after the 39-year-old man had fired at three police officers on the opposite side of the city

Explosives experts are searching the airport for bombs amid fears the man may have had an accomplice Explosives experts are searching the airport for bombs amid fears the man may have had an accomplice

Explosives experts are searching the airport for bombs amid fears the man may have had an accomplice

Three police officers were shot at in the Paris suburb of Stains 90 minutes before the airport shooting Three police officers were shot at in the Paris suburb of Stains 90 minutes before the airport shooting

Three police officers were shot at in the Paris suburb of Stains 90 minutes before the airport shooting

A witness identified only as Dominque told French TV network BFMTV: 'The soldiers took aim at the man, who in turn pointed the gun he had seized at the two soldiers.'

This account was contradicted by French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who said the attacker wrestled the soldier to the floor, but she was able to keep hold of her weapon.

The minister says the two other patrolmen opened fire 'to protect her' and the public in the airport. 

FRENCH PRESIDENT HOLLANDE PRAISES ACTION AGAINST 'DANGEROUS INDIVIDUAL'

The French President, pictured this morning with the Duchess of Cambridge, said the fight against terror continues The French President, pictured this morning with the Duchess of Cambridge, said the fight against terror continues

The French President, pictured this morning with the Duchess of Cambridge, said the fight against terror continues

Following this morning's attack at Paris Orly airport, French president Francois Hollande praised the bravery of officers, and said the fight against terrorism continues.

A statement issued today by the Elysee said: 'The President of the Republic salutes the courage and effectiveness which the police and military have demonstrated against the aggression of a particularly dangerous individual.

'The anti-terrorist section of the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation to shed light on the motives and circumstances of these acts and on possible complicities.

'The President of the Republic reaffirms the determination of the State to act relentlessly to fight terrorism, to defend the security of our compatriots and to ensure the protection of the territory.

'Vigilance will be maintained at its highest level and once again Operation Sentinel has demonstrated its usefulness in addition to the police and gendarmerie forces.'   

A large emergency services operation was launched after this morning's shooting at Orly airport A large emergency services operation was launched after this morning's shooting at Orly airport

A large emergency services operation was launched after this morning's shooting at Orly airport

A woman clasps a young child after being evacuated from the terminal during this morning's attack A woman clasps a young child after being evacuated from the terminal during this morning's attack

A woman clasps a young child after being evacuated from the terminal during this morning's attack

A helicopter checks the roof of Orly airport southern terminal after this morning's shooting A helicopter checks the roof of Orly airport southern terminal after this morning's shooting

A helicopter checks the roof of Orly airport southern terminal after this morning's shooting

Another man says on BFM that there was a group of three soldiers targeted, and they tried to calm the man who seized the weapon. Then the man said he heard two gunshots. 

French national police tweeted: 'Ongoing police operation, we recommend that you avoid the airport.'

Passenger Isabelle Raynaud said she was not being allowed to leave her plane as a result of the operation.

She wrote on Twitter: 'Stuck in the plane to #orly we are prevented from disembarking. There have been shots...' 

Large teams of police have descended on the airport following the shooting at 8.30am today Large teams of police have descended on the airport following the shooting at 8.30am today

Large teams of police have descended on the airport following the shooting at 8.30am today

Passengers recounted shots being fired within the terminal. Initial reports from the scene state that a man has been shot dead Passengers recounted shots being fired within the terminal. Initial reports from the scene state that a man has been shot dead

Passengers recounted shots being fired within the terminal. Initial reports from the scene state that a man has been shot dead

The airport - the second largest serving the French capital - was evacuated, as anti-terrorist police flooded into the area.

A police source said the suspect had been killed by troops taking part in Operation Sentinelle, a security initiative that has been in place since 2015, and involves some 7000 soldiers.

'It happened in the south terminal - it is being evacuated,' said a source at the airport. 'Passengers and staff are being moved out of the areas.'

France is currently under a state of emergency following a series of attacks by Islamic State and al-Qaeda operatives over the past two years.

Prince William and wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Eiffel Tower during a visit to Paris today Prince William and wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Eiffel Tower during a visit to Paris today

Prince William and wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Eiffel Tower during a visit to Paris today

Today's incidents come on the second day of a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Paris. They are currently staying at the British Ambassador's residence by the British Embassy.

This morning they met with people affected by terror attacks in Paris and Nice. 

Then they will attend this afternoon's rugby international between France and Wales. 

A COUNTRY UNDER SIEGE: TERROR ATTACKS IN FRANCE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS

Rescue workers take a woman to safety in November 2015 after the shooting at the Bataclan music venue Rescue workers take a woman to safety in November 2015 after the shooting at the Bataclan music venue

Rescue workers take a woman to safety in November 2015 after the shooting at the Bataclan music venue

February 3, 2017 -  A man is shot five times outside the Louvre museum in the heart of Paris after attempting to storm the historic art gallery.

July 14, 2016 - Amid Bastille Day celebrations in the Riviera city of Nice, a large truck is driven into a festive crowd. Some 86 people from a wide variety of countries are killed. The driver is shot dead. Islamic State extremists claim responsibility for the attack. The state of emergency in France is extended and extra protection, including robust barriers to prevent similar attacks, is put in place at major sites in France.

June 13, 2016 - Two French police officers are murdered in their home in front of their 3-year-old son. Islamic State claims responsibility for the slaying, which was carried out by a jihadist with a prior terrorist conviction. He is killed by police on the scene.

Nov. 13, 2015 - Islamic State militants kill 130 people in France's worst atrocity since World War II. A series of suicide bomb and shooting attacks are launched on crowded sites in central Paris, as well as the northern suburb of Saint-Denis. Most of those killed are in a crowded theater where hostages are taken. Islamic State extremists claim responsibility and say it was in retaliation for French participation in airstrikes on the militant group's positions in Syria and Iraq. It leads to the declaration of a state of emergency in France. Police powers are expanded.

Jan. 7, 2015 - Two brothers kill 11 people inside the Paris building where the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is headquartered in what Islamic State extremists claim is retaliation for the publication of cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. More are killed subsequently in attacks on a kosher market in eastern Paris and on police. There are 17 victims in all, including two police officers. The attackers are killed.

(Source: AP) 

A man has been shot dead after reportedly trying to steal a soldier's weapon at Paris Orly airport A man has been shot dead after reportedly trying to steal a soldier's weapon at Paris Orly airport

A man has been shot dead after reportedly trying to steal a soldier's weapon at Paris Orly airport

Large groups of police descended on the airport, in the south of the French capital, following this morning's shooting Large groups of police descended on the airport, in the south of the French capital, following this morning's shooting

Large groups of police descended on the airport, in the south of the French capital, following this morning's shooting

A woman in a wheelchair is helped to evacuate Orly airport this morning after the security alert A woman in a wheelchair is helped to evacuate Orly airport this morning after the security alert

A woman in a wheelchair is helped to evacuate Orly airport this morning after the security alert

Eyewitness Franck Lecam, 54, said the killing happened close to a departure lounge where people were waiting to board a flight to Israel.

THE OPERATION TO PROTECT FRANCE 

The soldier attacked by the man was part of Operation Sentinelle, a military operation launched after terror attacks in January 2015.

It involves some 7,000 troops of whom roughly half are deployed in the Paris region. 

They are charged with guarding religious sites which could be targets of terror attacks as well as airports, railway stations and tourist spots.

On Thursday, a letter bomb exploded at the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund, injuring a secretary who suffered burns to her hands and face.

French President Francois Hollande called it an 'attack', saying it showed the country was 'still targeted'.

'All this leads me to justify the state of emergency' that has been in effect since November 2015, Hollande said. 

Mr Lecam said: 'We were waiting in line to check in on the flight to Tel Aviv when we heard three or four gunshots nearby.

'The entire airport has been evacuated. We are being kept at the front of the airport, about 200 meters from the entrance hall.

'There are policemen, emergency workers, and soldiers everywhere, and they are running in all directions.'

Explosives experts at the scene said the man who was shot dead soon after 8..30am was not wearing a suicide vest.

French Interior Minister spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said man 'hid in an airport shop before being defeated by the security forces.'

Mr Brandet said nobody else at the airport was injured, and that both terminals at Orly - South and West - were now closed.

It came as three policemen were shot at by car driver in Stains, the northern Paris suburb.

He was stopped by the officers just before 7am, and then opened fire while pretending to take out his identity papers.

One of the policeman was slightly injured, as the man fled. He was still at large by mid-morning.  

French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport this morning French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport this morning

French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport this morning

Judicial police investigators enter Orly airport southern terminal this morning Judicial police investigators enter Orly airport southern terminal this morning

Judicial police investigators enter Orly airport southern terminal this morning

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