PARIS: French police detained the ex-wife, father, brother and sister-in-law of the man behind Monday’s attack on a Gendarmerie van on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
The family members were taken into custody after being questioned by police at the family home, according to judicial sources.
Adam D. drove a white Renault Megane into a Gendarmerie van on the busy Champs-Elysees just before 4 p.m. local time (1400 UTC) on Monday. The French Interior Ministry said it was a deliberate attack and that the car was laden with explosives.
The 31-year-old Parisian perpetrator, who was on a terror watchlist as an Islamist extremist, died in the attack. The man had a gun permit, which was granted shortly before he was flagged with authorities.
Asked on television why his permit wasn’t rescinded, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that “if you take away a permit from someone who is the subject of surveillance or being monitored, he will quickly understand why it has been taken away. … It’s a difficult decision.”
Investigators reportedly found a stash of weapons at his home.
Assailant’s car laden with explosives, weapons
“This car contained a certain number of weapons, and explosives that could have been used to blow up the car,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said, adding that the incident “shows once again that the threat level in France is extremely high.”
Collomb said the Renault hit the leading vehicle in a convoy of police vans as they headed down the Champs-Elysees, near the Grand Palais exhibition hall.