Details On Terrorist Attack, Murder Of Paris Police Officer Xavier Jugelé

A terrorist attack in Paris killed a police officer.

A terrorist attack in Paris killed a police officer.

Officer Xavier Jugelé Killed In Terrorist Attack

Paris, France –  Paris Police Officer Xavier Jugelé was murdered during a terrorist attack on police officers by the Islamic State that occurred on Thursday morning.

According to the New York Daily News, the incident occurred about 5:00 AM on the busy Champs-Elysee when the attacker, Karim Cheurfi, jumped out of a car, “deliberately targeted” a van of unsuspecting police officers, and began firing a rifle at them

The attacker fled, still shooting, as police pursued him and returned fire.  Tourists and residents ran for their lives in the chaos.

A spokesman from the French Interior Ministry said only Officer Jugelé died, despite earlier reports that two officers had been killed.  Two French police officers were injured.  Their names have not been released and the conditions of the two police officers are not known.  A tourist was also injured, apparently by a shard of bullet that grazed her knee during the attack.

Cheurfi was killed during the pursuit. Police found a pump-action shotgun, several knives, and a copy of the Koran in his car when it was searched later.   A handwritten note praising the Islamic State was found near Cheurfi’s body.

In a statement, ISIS later took credit for the attack, and said “The perpetrator of the attack in Champs Elysee in central Paris is Abu Yussef the Belgian and he is one of the Islamic State’s fighters.”

Cheurfi was 39-years-old, and was a French national who lived in the Paris suburb of Chelles.  Police officials said that he was questioned in February, 2017 for planning an attack on police but released for lack of evidence.  He was convicted in 2003 of attempted homicide in the shootings of two police officers, according to The Australian. Cheurfi had a previous history of armed assaults on officers going back 16 years, including an attack on a prison officer, who was shot after Cheurfi seized his gun.

Three relatives of Cheurfi have since been arrested and placed in detention by French police. An arsenal of weapons and bomb-making equipment, including 3kg of homemade explosives, were found by police in the flat where they were staying.  No other information about them or their arrest has yet been made public.

A manhunt for a second suspect,  Youssouf El Osri, is underway Friday morning.  Prior to the attack, the Belgian government had warned French officials that El Osri was a “very dangerous individual en route to France” aboard the Thalys high-speed train, according to Reuters.

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that the investigation was ongoing.

El Osri’s connection with either Cheurfi or the man mentioned in ISIS’s statement remain unclear at this time.

The terrorist attack came just days after French police foiled another planned Islamic attack in the southern city of Marseille.  Two men were arrested in that  incident.  It also occurred at the same time as the 11 candidates in Sunday’s close election were arguing their policies in a TV appearance.

France is in an already heightened state of alert because of state elections, which are being held on Sunday. The attack happened on the morning of the final day of campaigning.

On Friday morning, President Trump said that the attack would influence the election.  He said “another terrorist attack in Paris.  The people will not take much more of this.”

An attack occurred in February when an Egyptian man with a machete, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’  attacked French soldiers at the Louve Museum.  He was shot and wounded.

Paris Police Officer Xavier Jugelé, age 37, was a seven-year veteran.  In November, 2015, he was one of the officers who responded to a terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the fallen Paris Police officer, both blood and blue.