The ISIS terrorist responsible for Thursday’s shooting in Paris, France had an extremely violent criminal history and radical past.
It is difficult to tell when a radical believer will turn to violence, but in the case of Karim Cheurfi, also known as Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, violence and hatred for the police was a known factor. Here is a list of some of the terrorist’s warning signs:
1. Cheurfi was arrested and charged for shooting police officers in 2001. He stole a car in 2001, which led to a car chase with police. Cheurfi shot the officer and the officer’s brother after crashing into a ditch. He was arrested two days later after he stole a gun from a police officer, shooting him three times. Cheurfi later stole another officer’s gun while in custody, causing several officers to subdue him. He received a 20 year prison sentence which was later reduced to 15 in 2005.
2. Cheurfi had a violent criminal history before shooting cops. He was known to have engaged in robbery before his first police shooting in 2001, according to Le Parisien. He was arrested earlier this year after authorities suspected he was planning an attack on police, but was released for lack of evidence.
3. He was a known extremist. French intelligence said Cheurfi was known to harbor radical beliefs, according to BFMTV. He was on the radar of France’s domestic security service, known as the DGSI, according to CNN.
4. He wrote about his desire to shoot police officers. Cheurfi bragged about his desire to kill police on Telegram, a messaging service terrorists commonly use. Police found a note at the scene of Thursday’s crime, in which Cheurfi expressed his support for ISIS.
French police officers shot and killed Cheurfi shortly after his attack on the Champs-Elysees. The Islamic State took credit for the shooting a few hours later. He reportedly acted alone.
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