An Islamic Terrorist May Have Broadcast The Killing Of French Police Officer On Facebook Live

Two days after a devastating nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, with ties to terrorism, another violent attack by a “lone wolf” assailant proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State has occurred. The attack, which targeted two French police officials at their suburban home just outside Paris, resulted in their murders, a hostage situation involving their 3-year-old son, and a standoff with the authorities. To make matters worse, the killer reportedly recorded a Facebook Live video at the scene and uploaded for all his followers to see.

According to the Associated Press, Amaq — a news agency affiliated with ISIS — published a copy of the 12-minute video soon after the attack. The shows suspect Larossi Abballa in what appears to be the home of Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, a police commander, and his partner and fellow police official, Jessica Schneider — both of whom the 25-year-old stabbed to death. “I just killed a police officer and his wife,” he tells the camera. “The police are currently surrounding me.” After a prolonged standoff with the authorities, during which Abballa called for further jihad, police stormed the house, rescued the child and killed the suspect.

French prosecutor Francois Molins identified Abballa during a Tuesday press conference. Based on a press release published with the video by Amaq, Molins said officials had “no reason” to doubt that Abballa was responding to the terrorist organization’s call to “kill non-believers where they live.” As for the video, France 24 reported that Abballa mentioned ISIS spokesperson and so-called “attacks minister” Abu Mohammed al-Adnani by name. Last month, Adnani “called for attacks on Europe and the United States during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan” in an audio message released to the public.

Molins, other French officials and the media acknowledged the Facebook video’s existence, though the former wouldn’t confirm that Abballa had used Facebook’s Live feature to live-stream his video from the scene of the crime. However, since the video re-posted by Amaq seems to have been edited, this suggests the original source may have been a Facebook Live broadcast.

In addition to the existence of a live video, another troubling aspect of this incident is Abballa’s record of known terrorist ties and past arrests. During the press conference, Molins confirmed previous reports suggesting that Abballa had a record from 2013. According to the AP:

[The Mantes-la-Jolie native] was sentenced in 2013 to three years in prison for recruiting fighters for jihad in Pakistan, according to two police officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named discussing investigations.

Following Monday night’s horrific events, Abballa’s residence was raided by French police. Three unidentified individuals were detained for questioning by the authorities, although no information was given about any charges being levied against them. Considering the severity of the attack and ongoing security concerns regarding the European Championship, however, it seems officials are taking no chances.

(Via France 24Associated Press and Gawker)