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French Attacker Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in Video

French Attacker Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in Video Homeland Security TodayThe Islamic State (ISIS) news agency Amaq released a video of Larossi Abballa—the French citizen who killed a police officer and his partner on June 14—pledging allegiance to ISIS leaders and threatening the lives of prison guards, journalists and rappers, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Abballa, 24, was killed in a police raid following the stabbing of French policeman, Capt. Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his partner Jessica Schneider. According to MEMRI, the video was posted on a Facebook account and was recorded in between the killings and the police raid.

In the video Abballa states, “Currently the police is surrounding me, and I have surprises for them.” The video was reportedly live-streamed on Facebook as the police raid took place.

The attack took place in front of the couple’s home in Magnanville, a suburb located west of Paris. The couple’s three-year-old son was in the home at the time of the attack, but was not harmed.

ISIS’ chief spokesperson Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani released a recording in late May calling for Muslims to carry out attacks in the West. Abballa claims his actions were a response to Al-Adnani’s call.

In the 11-minute video, Abballa appears to be reading from a script. He pledges allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and urges people to “prioritize” the killing of police officers before he confesses to stabbing the police officer and his partner. 

The video also features Abballa stating that the 2016 European Championship soccer tournament will be attacked. He said the game will become “a cemetery.”

The championship game will be held in France on July 10. The French government has deployed additional security forces to ensure the safety of tournament goers.

The US State Department released a travel advisory for US citizens traveling to the championship. The website states, “Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue to plot possible attacks in Europe.”

The US travel alert is valid through Aug. 31, 2016.

France has been in a state of emergency since the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, which left nearly 150 people dead. In the video, Abballa referenced the French people and said, “We have opened the door of Jihad on your land.”

Officers have been allowed to carry their weapons off-duty since the November 2015 attacks. French President François Hollande said at a memorial for the officer on June 17 that measures would be taken to allow officers to permanently carry their weapons off-duty and to guarantee the identities of police be kept secret.

Abballa is reported to have previous connections to terrorism and was linked to Pakistani radical networks. The Washington Post reported Abballa was sentenced to prison for three years in 2013 for attempting to recruit militants to fight in Pakistan.

Many in France are asking why Abballa was not being monitored more seriously by the French government given his past links to radical behavior. Most recently, Abballa was under investigation in February of this year in connection with recruiting fighters for Syria.

The United States is dealing with terrorist threats from lone wolf attackers as well. The day before the Paris stabbings, Omar Mateen killed 50 people in an Orlando nightclub after calling 9-1-1 to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

As Homeland Security Today recently reported, the FBI has received criticism following the Orlando shootings because Mateen had been investigated for terrorist ties in the past. The FBI first investigated Mateen in 2013 when he made concerning statements about terrorism to his coworkers.

French authorities have arrested three individuals who have been connected to Abballa since the stabbings. The names of the suspects have not been released.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a meeting Tuesday more than 100 people have been in arrested in France this year for being seen as potential threats.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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