French attack suspect had 'link' to Salafist movement: minister

26th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

The suspect arrested in connection with the attack Friday on a French gas factory was investigated nine years ago for radicalisation and has links to the Salafist movement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

"He was investigated in 2006 for radicalisation, but (the probe) was not renewed in 2008. He had no criminal record," Cazeneuve said.

"This individual has links with the Salafist movement, but had not been identified as having participated in activities of a terrorist nature," added the minister who rushed to the scene in eastern France.

Cazeneuve identified the suspect as Yacine Salhi who was known to have lived in the area of Lyon, France's second largest city.

One person was killed and two injured during the attack in the small town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Lyon. A decapitated head was found pinned to the gates of the factory.

Salafism is an extremist, puritanical form of Sunni Islam often described as a mix of Saudi Arabian Wahhabism with later fundamentalist influences.

© 2015 AFP

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