Algerian Rams Car into Group of French Soldiers
Wednesday – An Algerian named Hamou Benlatreche rammed his BMW into a group of French soldiers during shift change at a military barracks at Place de Verdun near Paris. He had been living “legally” in France. Police did not know he was a radical.
The attack with the BMW took place at about 8:15 local time outside a military barracks on the Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret.
— J Compton (@ArtistJCompton) August 9, 2017
Police described the incident as a “deliberate act.”
The BMW “appeared to be waiting for the soldiers” according to The New Daily. They reported,
“The BMW accelerated very quickly the moment they came out. This happened in the middle of the town. It happened very quickly.
Levallois is a calm place … this is an odious aggression against our military that nobody expected.”
The soldiers, members of France’s Operation Sentinelle, were standing by their vehicle when the BMW rammed into them and drove away. Six soldiers were hurt, two seriously, though none had life-threatening injuries.
A manhunt ensued, with police actively looking for the vehicle.
According to ABC, a police trainee noticed a vehicle with windshield, hood and front bumper damage. He wrote down the license number.
Shortly thereafter, the suspect vehicle was involved in a chase with police. The driver was shot, but his condition is unknown. The suspect was arrested after it was confirmed he was the driver of the attack vehicle.
Police searched the residence of the suspect in Bezons, north of Paris. A counter-terrorism investigation as been launched by the Paris Prosecutor’s office.
An uncle of the suspect told a French television station that Benlatreche was a practicing Muslim, but had no idea that he was radicalized.
— JBaptiste Frontzac (@jbfrontzac) August 9, 2017
Featured photo: Screenshot of suspect’s vehicle after French police shot the suspect.