FRANCE

Paris Shooter Identified As Karim Cheurfi

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, only days before the first round of presidential elections

FRANCE
Police secure the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, April 20, 2017.  — REUTERS
Apr 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM ET

French authorities have identified the man suspected of carrying out Thursday night’s attack along Paris’ Champs Elysees boulevard as Karim Cheurfi.

According to the BBC, Cheurfi was a convicted criminal, and a note defending ISIS was found near his body. Local reports said the 39-year-old who fired on police officers before being shot dead by security forces was identified from papers left in his car.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told NBC News said that Cheurfi, who lived in Livry Gargan, a suburb of Paris, was not any watch lists that monitored extremists.

The prosecutor’s office told CNN Thursday that France’s anti-terror prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service are investigating the shooting. French police have taken three family members of the gunman who killed a policeman into custody, and another man suspected of links to the attack turned himself in to Belgian police, the BBC reported Friday.

ISIS took responsibility for the shooting, which occurred around 9 p.m. local time on the famed Champs Elysees boulevard, a popular area usually brimming with locals and tourists. Two other officers were wounded.

ISIS posted its claim on Amaq, the terror group’s official news agency. It identified the attacker as Abu Yousef al-Belgiki.

The shooting took place just days before the first round of France’s presidential election. Terrorism has been a key issue leading up to Sunday’s election, with far-right candidate Marine Le Pen saying recently that France has become a “university for jihadists.”