Thursday night’s terrorist attack in Paris left two officers dead and one seriously wounded after a gunman with a Kalashnikov rifle deliberately targeted police in a shooting rampage near Paris’ famed Champs Elysee area.
Hours after French police raided the east Paris home of the suspect, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its semi-official propaganda news agency Amaq. Identifying the attacker as “Islamic State fighter” Abu Yusuf al- Beljiki ("The Belgian"), the terror group praised the attack just days ahead of the contentious French presidential elections. French authorities have confirmed that the suspect entered France via train from Belgium.
As Rita Katz, Director of the SITE Intelligence Group, reports, ISIS sympathizers took to social media Thursday to praise the jihadist strike in the heart of Paris.
6) These celebratory messages by #ISIS supporters, as well as Amaqs claims in different languages, are all over social media!— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) April 20, 2017
Casting all Europeans as Christian “Crusaders,” ISIS supporters on Twitter and elsewhere shared posts featuring ominous texts threatening to “kill” all infidels “wherever you find them.”
France was already under a state of heightened security before this latest attack occurred, due to the heated nature of the French presidential election.
French voters are set to cast their ballots Sunday in the first-round of voting. This latest Islamic terrorist attack will no doubt weigh heavily on the minds of voters.