Lyon bomb suspect had pledged allegiance to IS

International

A police officer lets an elderly woman leaving the area while soldiers secure the access near the site of a suspected bomb attack in central Lyon, Friday May, 24, 2019. An explosion Friday on a busy pedestrian street in the French city of Lyon injured seven people, local officials said. (AP Photo/Sebastien Erome)

PARIS (AP) — The main suspect in the bombing last week in the French city of Lyon that wounded 14 people had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor said on Friday.

Remy Heitz said in a statement the 24-year-old man has admitted making the bomb and depositing the device in front of a bakery. He will be brought before an investigating judge.

The suspect, identified only as Mohamed Hichem M., was arrested on Monday. He arrived in France on a tourist visa in August 2017 but failed to leave again. Police did not give his nationality but some French media reported that he was Algerian. He was unknown to police services before the incident.

He was handed preliminary charges Friday of attempted murder, criminal terrorist conspiracy and manufacturing, possessing and carrying an explosive device in relation with a terrorist undertaking.

French President Emmanuel Macron had called the explosion an “attack” but no group has claimed responsibility for the explosion yet.

Last week, Heitz described video surveillance that showed a man heading toward the center of Lyon on a bike. He was seen arriving on foot, pushing his bike along a pedestrian-only street, then leaving a paper bag on a concrete block in the middle of the street. The suspect immediately returned to his bike and left the same way. One minute later, the explosion shattered the glass of a refrigerator in the bakery.

The suspect initially denied his involvement, then admitted “pledging allegiance to the IS deep down inside and dropping off the explosive device he had prepared beforehand,” Heitz said.

Data analysis of a computer used by the suspect until the end of last year also helped investigators establish he had an interest for “jihadi thesis and IS’s activities.”

The police probe also established that the suspect had ordered online a pack of 20 batteries corresponding to those that served to remotely trigger the device. Some traces found on evidence discovered at the scene also matched the suspect’s genetic profile, Heitz said.

The suspect was arrested along with his parents and brother, but they were released on Thursday without charges.

France has been hit by a spate of attacks in recent years, some of them deadly, carried out by people ranging from extremist attackers to mentally unstable individuals.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

28°F Clear Feels like 22°
Wind
6 mph N
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Crowley

28°F Clear Feels like 20°
Wind
7 mph NNE
Humidity
75%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Opelousas

26°F Clear Feels like 20°
Wind
5 mph N
Humidity
79%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low 23F. Winds light and variable.
24°F Partly cloudy. Low 23F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Breaux Bridge

27°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
9 mph NNE
Humidity
81%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

New Iberia

29°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
14 mph NNE
Humidity
78%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
26°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
7 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full

Sidebar

Trending Stories