PARIS The man behind this week’s attempted attack in Paris’s Champs Elysees avenue had been to Turkey several times in 2016 where authorities questioned him over large amounts of gold and jewelry in his possession, and he had a huge arsenal of weapons, said the Paris prosecutor.
Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins added at a news conference on Thursday that the attacker – whom he named as French national “Adam D” – had also wanted to go to Syria and had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
On June 19, the individual had rammed a car carrying weapons and explosives into a police van as it drove in a convoy down Paris’s Champs Elysees, and subsequently died.
“The arsenal of weapons discovered in the vehicle, highlights the scale of the terrorist act that was being prepared, which – if it had succeeded – would have had terrible consequences on human life,” said Molins.
Molins said authorities had not yet identified the nature of orange smoke coming out of the car after the attack. In his car were an assault rifle, two pistols, ammunition and two large gas canisters, authorities had previously said.
Adam D was married to a Tunisian and had two children, added Molins.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose)