Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Slain French attack hero honored in grand national tribute

Slain French attack hero honored in grand national tribute

Last Friday, terrorist Redouane Lakdim created a hostage situation in the medieval town of Carcassonne after hijacking a auto, shooting up a group of policemen, and then going on a shooting spree in a Super-U supermarket [VIDEO], declaring himself a soldier of ISIS and killing two people.

During the siege, Lakdim said he was acting on behalf of terrorist group Daesh and demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks awaiting trial.

Since the attack, the agency - created three years ago to consolidate counterterrorism efforts - has been investigating Lakdim's family members in Morocco, Abdelhak Khiame told The Associated Press Lakdim visited Morocco several times, most recently in February 2012, before the establishment of the Islamic State, Khiame added. The morning of the attacks, she had posted a message on social media saying that unbelievers were promised to hell, Molins said.

"He (Beltrame) raised his hands in the air, dropped his weapon and asked to take the place of the person taken hostage", Molins said.

France has lost more than 240 lives to jihadists over the past three years, and the attack is the country's worst since Macron became president last May. He then headed to a supermarket in Trebes, east of the popular medieval tourist city of Carcassonne, where he killed an employee and a customer.

The store was eventually stormed following shots and the Jihadi terrorist killed. They killed Lakdim and found their Beltrame seriously wounded. Beltrame was stabbed and shot after offering himself in exchange for a hostage.

Lakdim had been on a government watch list - known as Fiche S - since 2014, suspected of links to a local Salafist network.

He has been lauded as a hero by French and global leaders alike.

The prosecutor said the girlfriend denied involvement in Lakdim's plans.

The 18-year-old woman, who has been in police custody since Friday evening, was under surveillance by intelligence services, one source told AFP.

He dabbled in drugs and petty crime and in 2016 spent a month in prison but prison authorities "detected no visible sign of radicalisation", Molins said.

A national memorial ceremony for Beltrame will be held Wednesday in the main courtyard of the Invalides monument, home to Napoleon's tomb, in the presence of Beltrame's family and the families of other victims of the attack.

Three former presidents, Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d'Estaing, are also attending in a symbol of the political dimension this ceremony has taken.

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