Islamist Terror Attack Hits Paris Airport

Commotion broke out at Paris' Orly airport when a man was shot dead by French security forces after he tackled their female colleague to the floor and tried to take her firearm. The suspect was identified as Paris-born Ziyed Ben Belgacem, who had been investigated for links to radical Islam.

Wikimedia Commons/PierreAeroportOrly Airport in Paris where security forces killed an Islamist extremist.

Authorities said the 39-year-old Frenchman arrived at the airport eight miles south of Paris on Saturday morning and proceeded to the south terminal where he tackled a female soldier on the floor. He overpowered the officer, grabbed her service rifle and pointed it at her temple.

"Put your weapons down, hands on your heads," he told two other soldiers on patrol whose weapons were aimed at him. "I'm here to die for Allah. In any case people are going to die."

The soldiers then fired three shots that killed him instantly. The entire scene took only a couple of minutes to unfold.

Belgacem's backpack contained a 9-mm revolver, a petrol canister and a Koran. A search in his place at Garges-les-Gonesse yielded traces of cocaine. The handgun found in his bag belonged to an officer that accosted him earlier. It turned out that the suspect committed a string of felonies that day, BBC reported.

Earlier that day, at 3:00 a.m., Belgacem stormed into an Italian-Cuban bar he frequented in Vitry-sur-Seine, northern Paris and threatened customers. He then drove off south and was stopped at a police checkpoint 6:05 a.m. for speeding. He drew a gun and fired pellets at three officers.

He took the gun of an officer who sustained a non-fatal injury on the head and sped off back to Vitry where he abandoned his vehicle and stole another car, which he drove to the airport where he met his fate. Further investigation revealed that he was a seasoned criminal, having been charged with robbery and drug offenses before.