Terror probe after French factory attack leaves 1 beheaded

A police officers park outside the plant where

A police officers park outside the plant where an attack took place, Friday, June 26, 2015 in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon, France. French authorities say one person has been beheaded in an attack and explosion at a gas factory in the southeastern part of the country. Officials say banners with Arabic writing were found near the body. Authorities have opened a terrorism investigation. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) (Credit: AP)

SAINT-QUENTIN-FALLAVIER, France - (AP) France opened a terrorism investigation after an attack at a gas factory Friday left one person decapitated and several wounded, officials said. Flags with Arabic inscriptions were found nearby, and a severed head was posted on a gate at the factory's entrance.

Two French officials said the attack began midmorning when two men crashed a car into the entrance of a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in southeastern France, hitting gas canisters and touching off an explosion. The industrial site southeast of Lyon belongs to Air Products, an American chemical company based in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

One of the attackers was arrested, they said. It was unclear what happened to the other attacker. Both officials spoke condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.

A security official said a severed head was found posted on the gate at the entrance to the factory, in what appeared to be an echo of Islamic State's practice of beheading prisoners and displaying the heads for all to see.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details to the media, said the body was found near the site of the explosion but that the victim was not decapitated by the blast.

Two flags, one white and one black, both with Arabic inscriptions, were found nearby, the security official said.

France's anti-terror prosecutor said an investigation was opened into the attack, which he said was carried out by "a terrorist group."

Aides reported that French President Francois Hollande watched TV news reports about the attack with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as both leaders attended a European Union summit in Brussels.

France went on high alert after attacks in January against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a kosher grocery and a policewoman that left 20 people dead in the Paris region, including three Islamic extremist attackers.

Since then, fears of copycat attacks have risen. One person was arrested after authorities said he was plotting to gun down churches in the Paris region.

 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Suffolk fire officials say a house was gutted 1 House gutted by overnight fire in Oakdale
The owner of a Huntington church and food 2 Huntington food pantry owner says he is being targeted by neighbors, town
Developers want to build more than 150 new 3 Plans to expand Bayport senior apartment complex faces opposition
According to police, Eddickson Mulliz, of Central islip, 4 Central Islip man accused of hiding heroin in engine of car
Officials say a pedestrian was struck and killed 5 Police say they caught woman who struck, killed man in Central Islip

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE