Dramatic security footage emerged Monday of a suspected Islamic extremist taking a soldier hostage in France’s second-busiest airport over the weekend.
In the video, which was obtained by The Associated Press, a man identified by French authorities as Paris-born Ziyed Ben Belgacem, 39, can be seen walking inside the southern terminal of Paris Orly Airport on Saturday morning.
He suddenly drops a large bag that contained gasoline, the AP reported. He then grabs one of three soldiers from behind, backing up several steps and pointing a gun at her head.
At least two people walk by, seemingly unaware.
Moments later, Belgacem lurches forward, using the soldier as a shield. As he moves toward a mass of people, the crowdy quickly disperses.
Belgacem shouted that he was there to die for Allah, French prosecutor Francois Molins said, and tried to wrestle the soldier’s assault rifle away from her.
Two other soldiers shot and killed Belgacem before he could fire the rifle, the prosecutor said.
The incident took less than three minutes, and no one at the airport was injured, officials said.
Earlier Saturday, in Garges-lès-Gonesse to the north of Paris, Belgacem fired a pellet gun at a police officer, who suffered minor injuries, during a traffic stop, officials said.