Man held 18 months after jihadist murders of French police couple

A man has been arrested in connection with the jihadist murder of a French police couple – 18 months ago after his DNA was matched to traces found in their Paris home.

Dec 13, 2017

A man has been arrested in connection with the jihadist murder of a French police couple – 18 months ago after his DNA was matched to traces found in their Paris home. The 24-year-old has been reportedly linked to convicted terrorist Larossi Aballa, the Daesh extremist who claimed responsibility for the June 2016 attack in a live video from the murder scene before being killed by officers from the elite Recherche, Assistance, Intervention, Dissuasion in a shootout. The suspect, who was not on a terrorism watchlist but was known to be radicalised, was arrested in the western Paris suburb of Les Mureaux. His brother has already been charged with providing logistical assistance to Aballa, whose chilling attack – one in a string of assaults in France since January 2015 – caused shock across the global policing family. Aballa repeatedly stabbed Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, to death outside his home in Magnanville, and then went inside with the police commander`s 36-year-old law enforcement agency partner Jessica Schneider and the couple`s three-year-old son. Shortly afterwards he slit the throat of Ms Schneider and then posted on Facebook — under the name Mohamed Ali— a live 13-minute video of himself in the house with the child in which he admitted the murders and urged fellow jihadists to carry out more bloodshed. The video was later removed. Aballa, 25, had reportedly been jailed for three years in 2013 for being part of a jihadist organisation with links to Pakistan. Prosecutors claimed the organisation he identified with aimed to “prepare terrorist acts”. At the time of the 2016 killings, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Abballa, who came from the nearby suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie and knew his victims, told police negotiators before his death that had had sworn allegiance to Daesh three weeks earlier. The man arrested this week was already being investigated over a foiled attack by a group of female jihadists who tried to set fire to a car containing gas canisters near Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in September 2016. Charged with failing to report that plot, he spent four months in preventive custody before being released in January. Investigators believe that French Daesh member Rachid Kassim directed both attacks from the Middle East, using the encrypted Telegram app. Kassim is believed to have been killed in a coalition air strike near the Iraqi city of Mosul in February.

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