PARIS (AP) — The man killed when he drove his car packed with arms and explosives into a police convoy had pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group and asked his family to remember him not as a suicide bomber but as a martyr, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said Thursday.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, citing a letter written in the form of a will dated the day before the Monday attack on the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysees Avenue, said the man, born in a Paris suburb, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and practiced shooting “to prepare for jihad.”
The letter to his loved ones asked that his attack plan be treated not as a suicide attack but as a “martyrdom operation,” Molins said.
Molins said the attacker, whom he identified only as Adam D., had a huge cache of weapons both at home and in the vehicle he drove. Evidence from the investigation shows the suspect wanted to join IS forces in Syria and Iraq, the prosecutor said.
The attack was aborted when the car exploded after the driver rammed the lead car in the police convoy, killing himself, Molins said.
Police jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the car, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him.
Police officials earlier identified the suspect as 31-year-old Adam Djaziri from the Paris. He was born in Argenteuil, a Paris suburb, Molins said.