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France

Champs-Elysées attacker missed appointments with police, had firearm stash

media Forensic experts inspects the scene of the Champs-Elysées attack Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

The man who was died in a failed terror attack on Paris's Champs-Elysées on Monday had failed to attend two interviews with police in May and was supposed to have another one that very day, police sources have revealed. Adam Djaziri, 31, had managed to build up a stockpile of arms, despite being placed on a terror watchlist.

Having discreetly kept tabs on Djaziri for several years, gendarmes in the area near Paris where he lived changed tack this year and summoned him to be interviewed twice in May.

But he said he was unavailable for both the appointments, citing reasons of health.

He was told to present himself again at 2.00pm on Monday 19 May but launched his attack on a police van in the morning, dying, apparently from a cardiac arrest, shortly afterwards.

Djaziri was first brought to the French police's attention in 2013 by their Tunisian counterparts after he was found in an apartment with armed terrorist suspects.

The Tunisians issued an Interpol search warrant, which advised other forces not to attract the subject's attention and was later cancelled.

Firearms licences

French police started to take an interest in him in 2015 after he was stopped at the Turkish-Greek border with his wife and two children.

They found that he moved in Islamic fundamentalist circles and was trading in gold, leading to frequent voyages abroad, and placed him on the terror watchlist.

That did not prevent Djaziri, who was a member of a shooting club, obtaining a firearms licence and amassing a collection of weapons that included the Israeli assault rifle that was found in his vehicle along with two gas bottles after his attack, as well as a stockpile that was found at his home afterwards.

The first licence was issued before he was spotted and the legal grounds for refusing one - a previous conviction or involuntary confinement for mental health reasons - did not exist later, according to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb has asked for a reevaluation of people on the watchlist who might obtain a firearms licence.

New anti-terror law drafted

The government is currently preparing a new anti-terror law that should be put before the new cabinet this week.

Djaziri's father, brother, ex-wife and sister-in-law were all detained by police when they raided the house where they have lived for the past 28 years on Monday evening.

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