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Champs-Elysees attacker on terror watchlist, had gun licence

 Agencies |  2017-06-20 17:21:14.0  |  Paris

Champs-Elysees attacker on terror watchlist, had gun licence

Questions arose on Tuesday over how a known radical Islamist who rammed a car into a police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees was able to hold a gun licence.

Adam Djaziri, a 31-year-old who had been on a watchlist for radical Islamists since 2015, was killed yesterday as his car loaded with a gas canister smashed into the van on the French capital's most famous avenue.

Two handguns and a Kalashnikov-style assault rifle were found in the car, while a weapons stash was found at the home of the assailant, who died in the incident. Djaziri's father, who has since been detained, told AFP that his son was a licensed gun-owner, and a source close to the probe said he owned nine weapons including pistols and an assault rifle.

The attempted attack comes with France still under a state of emergency after a wave of jihadist assaults that have left more than 230 people dead since 2015.

As the one-month-old government of President Emmanuel Macron prepares to unveil a tougher new anti-terrorism law, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe expressed dismay that Djaziri was able to have a gun permit despite being on a jihadist watchlist.

"What I know at this stage is that the first weapons permit was given before this individual was flagged up," he said in an interview, but he added that "no one can be satisfied — and certainly not me" that Djaziri had evidently still been able to possess dangerous weapons.

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