The man behind the failed Champs-Élysées attack on Monday was filmed loitering near the Eiffel Tower an hour before his failed attack, raising questions from police and security services.
Failed terror suspect Adam Lotfi Djaziri, who was shot by police Monday afternoon after ramming his car into a police vehicle, was caught on CCTV an hour before the attack near the Eiffel Tower. Police believe that Djaziri was tracking police vehicles, though there is speculation he planned to target the historic monument, L’Express reports.
Djaziri was seen on CCTV for around half an hour sitting in his four-door Renaud Megane which contained a rifle and two gas canisters. Investigators believe the 31-year-old jihadist intended to ram his car into the van of Gendarmes, ignite the gas canisters, and blow himself up.
While Djaziri was successful in igniting his car, he ultimately failed to kill anyone other than himself. An autopsy was undertaken after his death which showed the cause to have been asphyxiation caused by the fire. His body was also badly burnt.
Police found a signed letter of allegiance to Islamic State addressed to his brother-in-law. A relative of Djaziri, one of four who was taken into custody, said the 31-year-old had been radicalised for months and believed in conspiracy theories.
Djazriri had been on the French security service’s terror list since 2015 and according to the public prosecutor of the Republic of Paris, François Molins, Djaziri wanted to join the Islamic State in Syria.
In March 2015, he was said to have expressed interest in crossing the border into Syria whilst on a trip to Turkey. He subsequently visited Turkey three more times claiming to be trading in gold and jewellery.
The failed attack occurred only weeks after a man attacked police with a hammer near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The man was shot dead soon after injuring an officer. Later it was revealed he was an Islamist from Algeria who had been recognised in Sweden for writing pro-immigration articles in 2009.
The attack is also the second to have occurred on the Champs-Élysées with the first occurring during the presidential race in April. Police were also the targets of the attack which led to the death of one officer and the injury of another.