In an astonishing turn of events, it has emerged that the mischievous “French” youth who rammed police officers with his BMW is a avowed mujahid for the Islamic State. I never would have suspected it!
Colombes attack: The preferred terrorist track
Youssef T., who tried to murder two police officers in Colombes on Monday, had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.
by Christophe Cornevin
April 28, 2020
After several hours of evaluation, the national prosecutor’s anti-terrorism office has decided to take over in the attack that targeted two police officers Monday afternoon at Colombes (Haut-de-Seine) in the name of the Islamic State.
Tuesday afternoon the specialized magistrates opened an investigation into counts of attempted murder of persons charged with public authority in relation to a terrorist enterprise and criminal terrorist association. Once again, this case features an Islamist who flew under the radar before taking action. Age 29 and of French nationality, Youssef T. has spent his first night under guard at 36 Rue de Bastion, the headquarters of the Paris Judicial Police, to be interrogated by the criminal brigade in charge, with the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) to shed light on the attack and the motivations of the perpetrator. The course of events seems both crystal clear and chilling.
Allegiance to the Islamic State
Shortly before 5:30pm Youssef T. was driving a black BMW through the streets of Colombes. Obviously agitated after having viewed some videos on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the man, who is described by relatives as “pro-Palestinian”, had placed a knife in the glove compartment of his vehicle. Slipped into the sun visor was a letter described as “very clear” by an informed source, swearing allegiance to the Islamic State. In particular, the writer explains that he has thrown himself “head-on in the battle to impose sharia on the entire Earth”.
In front of the police, this native of Luneville (Moselle) also expressed the will to die as a “martyr” killing the police officers, as advocated for years by the propaganda of the terrorist organization. At the level of the stadium,Yves-du-Manoir, he put his plan into execution: Launched into high speed, his car rammed two motorcycle traffic policemen (DOPC) who were in the process of conducting a check.
Caught in a vice against a municipal police vehicle that had come to ensure the rules of confinement, one of the officers, hit on his wrist and lower limbs, was hospitalized with absolute urgency. Out of commission, he is now in stable condition after undergoing surgery during the night. His colleague, more lightly injured, suffered a fracture of two fibulae. A third officer, assigned to the Colombes municipal police, meanwhile was released from the hospital. Youssef T., protected by an airbag, was taken into custody without giving resistance. In spite of his knife, his overwhelming written allegiance and references made to Daesh (ISIS), police and magistrates initially were perplexed for hours, as the course of the “cop-killer” is very confusing.
Acts of violence
A warehouseman drifting between odd jobs and periods of unemployment, Youssef T. certainly displayed behavioral problems, amassing a medical file which will be gone over at length by the national anti-terrorist prosecutor. Tuesday morning a psychiatric examination was conducted and concluded that there was no absence or alteration of judgment on the part of the defendant. Unknown to the anti-terrorist services, Youssef T. doesn’t appear in the File of Reports for the Prevention of Radicalization of Terrorist Character (FSPRT), and was never classified as S. His file only mentions two acts of violence for which he received a penalty of community service in 2010. Anxious to define the contours of the suspect, the police, accompanied by a bomb squad and dogs, conducted a search of his residence on the fourth floor of an apartment building in the small town of Audra, situated to the north of the city, not far from the place where Youssef T. deliberately tried to murder the police officers.
According to several witnesses, he never exhibited an attachment to radical Islam, nor did he frequent the prayer room situated just below his home
After searching the apartment for at least two hours, they left with digital material, which is under examination. As is often the case in this type of investigation, the alleged “soldier of Allah” was considered by his neighbors to be “polite”, “discreet” and “without any incidents.”
According to several witnesses, he never exhibited an attachment to radical Islam, nor did he frequent the prayer room situated just below his home.
Archetype of the “hybrid”, the deadly trajectory of Youssef T. brings to mind Abdallah Ahmed Osman, a Sudanese national, himself unknown to the special services, who complained in writing of living in a “country of unbelievers”, before sowing death in Roman-sur-Isere at the beginning of the month. Also, to a lesser degree, that of the convert Mickael Harpon, who, after failing to be detected in 2015, brought bereavement to the Paris police prefect last October 3. United in the same radical interpretation of the religion, where hate and a profound feeling of frustration mix together, the “neo-terrorists” defy all the screenings and multiply in spite of all the “turning of the screws” by the authorities. Confined [quarantined] or not, France will have to get used to fighting this gangrene. And develop an adapted response posture.