Tests show drugs, alcohol in Paris attacker’s blood

March 20, 2017 12:30 pm

French public prosecutor of Francois Molins (R) and head of the Judiciary Police (PJ) Christian Sainte address a press conference on March 18, 2017 in , following the airport attack.

Blood tests have revealed that a man, who was shot dead after taking a soldier hostage at Paris’ Orly Airport, was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Investigators are still trying to understand what motivated Saturday’s assault by 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, which led to a major security scare and the temporary closure of the capital’s second-busiest airport.
“Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per liter in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine,” said a judicial source on Sunday.
A subsequent police search of Belgacem’s flat found cocaine, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.
Ben Belgacem, who was born in to Tunisian parents, reportedly grabbed a soldier on patrol at Orly’s southern terminal on Saturday morning. 

Police officers investigate at the house of the suspect of an attack at the Paris Orly Airport. (Photo by AFP)

The attacker, who had also fired at police in a northern Paris suburb earlier that morning, was shot dead by two other soldiers after a scuffle.
Speaking on Sunday, Ben Belgacem’s father insisted that his son was “not a terrorist” and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.
“He called me at seven, eight in the morning and said, ‘There you go, Papa.’ He was extremely angry, even his mother couldn’t understand him,” he told 1 radio. “He told me: ‘I ask for your forgiveness. I’ve screwed up with a gendarme.'”
The attack at Orly comes with France still on high alert following a wave of attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives in two years.
The violence has made security a key issue in France’s two-round presidential election on April 23 and May 7.
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