31-year-old Dzaziri, who was on a jihadist watchlist, rammed the vehicle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees yesterday but inflicted no casualties, in the latest of a string of attacks in Paris, sources said.
Authorities believe the suspect deliberately crashed a small white auto into the police van, which was part of a convoy driving down the Champs Elysees.
No one else was injured, and the Champs-Elysees reopened overnight. “The threat is extremely high”, Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb told reporters. He called the incident an “attempted attack”.
“The show must go on”, the daughter said in English.
Monday’s collision was the second terror attack on the Champs Elysees in recent months.
A man has died after after attempting to carry out an attack on French security forces on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
Police have asked the public to avoid the area while their security operation is ongoing. But both agreed as the mother said, “unfortunately we now are used to this”.
Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene.
France remains in a state of emergency and on high alert over possible terrorist attacks due to its military intervention in Syria, Iraq and the Sahel region. The minister used the occasion to explain the continued need for a state of emergency, in place since 2015, and plans to extend it until November 1, to be presented at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
The armed driver deliberately plowed into the police vehicle, authorities said, and he later died.
Police “pulled an individual out of the vehicle who had struck the auto in front (of the convoy)”, Brandet told reporters.
Police were treating the incident as a deliberate attack, and the Paris prosecutor had opened an anti-terror investigation as of late Monday afternoon.
Anti-riot police officers patrol the Champs-Elysees avenue on Monday following another attack on police in the French capital.
A spokesman for the French interior ministry, Pierre-Henry Brandet, said the driver’s auto exploded as he tried to ram a police vehicle.
The 33-year-old man, who did not succeed in injuring any officers, was “known to the police and thought to be radicalised”, said a source.
Gendarmes jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the auto, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him, according to witness accounts. “There will be deaths”, before two of the soldier’s comrades shot the attacker dead.
The police department tweeted the warning Monday without providing further details.
Witness said they saw officers cordon off an area near the avenue and close to the presidential Elysee palace.