Of­fi­cials: Air­port at­tacker was drunk

Tox­i­col­ogy tests also found traces of co­caine and pot in blood of sus­pected mil­i­tant

The Dallas Morning News - - NATION & WORLD -

PARIS — Blood tests de­ter­mined Sun­day that a sus­pected Is­lamic ex­trem­ist con­sumed drugs and al­co­hol be­fore a fren­zied spree of vi­o­lence that ended when he took a sol­dier hostage at Paris’ Orly Air­port and was shot dead by her fel­low pa­trol­men.

The Paris prose­cu­tors’ of­fice said tox­i­col­ogy tests con­ducted as part of an au­topsy found traces of co­caine and cannabis in the blood of Ziyed Ben Bel­gacem.

He also had 0.93 grams of al­co­hol per liter of blood when he died Satur­day, the prose­cu­tors’ of­fice said. That is nearly twice the le­gal limit for driv­ing in France.

The 39-year-old French­man with a long crim­i­nal record of drug and rob­bery of­fenses stopped at a bar in the wee hours Satur­day morn­ing, around four hours be­fore he first fired bird shot at traf­fic po­lice. Then, 90 min­utes later, he at­tacked the mil­i­tary pa­trol at Orly, caus­ing panic and the shut­down of the French cap­i­tal’s sec­ond-big­gest air­port.

Yelling that he wanted to kill and die for Al­lah, Bel­gacem wres­tled away a sol­dier’s as­sault ri­fle but was shot to death by two other sol­diers be­fore he could fire the mil­i­tary-grade weapon, Paris pros­e­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins said.

In an in­ter­view Sun­day with French ra­dio Europe 1, a man iden­ti­fied as the sus­pect’s fa­ther said Bel­gacem wasn’t a prac­tic­ing Mus­lim and drank al­co­hol.

“My son was never a ter­ror­ist. He never at­tended prayer. He drank,” the man said. “But un­der the ef­fects of al­co­hol and cannabis, this is where one ends up.”

The Orly at­tack dis­rupted air­port op­er­a­tions and fur­ther rat­tled France, which re­mains un­der a state of emer­gency af­ter at­tacks the past two years that have killed 235 peo­ple.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Sol­diers were on guard Satur­day at Orly Air­port af­ter a man grabbed a sol­dier’s ri­fle.

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