Gunman who killed Frenchmen was a drug dealer, has history of minor crimes

The gunman who killed three people in southwest France on Friday before being shot dead by police was a 25-year-old small-time drug dealer with a history of minor crimes.

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The rap sheet against Radouane Lakdim, a French citizen born in Morocco according to sources close to the inquiry, eventually drew deeper scrutiny by investigators worried he was at risk of radicalisation.

In the summer of 2014, Lakdim, who lived in Carcassonne, was put on a watchlist of people considered possible extremists.

“He was added to the list because of his radicalisation and his links with the Salafist movement,” Francois Molins, France’s top anti-terror prosecutor, said at a press conference in Carcassonne.

He was found guilty of carrying a prohibited weapon in 2011 and later for drug use and refusing a court order in 2015, Molins said.

In 2016, then in 2017, he was the subject of an investigation by intelligence services, “which did not bring to light any sign that would indicate he would carry out a terrorist act,” he added.

At least three people were killed on Friday when a man claiming allegiance to the militant Islamic State group went on a shooting spree and held people hostage in a supermarket in southwest France before being shot dead by police.

“Our country has suffered an Islamist terrorist attack,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address.

Five people were also shot and injured, two of them in a critical condition, a source close to the investigation said.

A police officer who took the place of a female hostage is “fighting for his life”, Macron added, hailing the man as a hero.

“He saved lives and honoured his colleagues and his country.”

The other man in a critical condition is the driver of a car hijacked by the attacker named as Radouane Lakdim.

AFP

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