A terrorist attack Friday on a U.S. owned gas factory near Lyon in southeastern France resulted in one person being beheaded and two more injured.
The chief suspect in the attack is being described as someone who has been in contact with Muslim fundamentalist Salafists.
“The suspect’s contacts with Muslim fundamentalists, and reports that Islamist flags or writings were found at the scene, point to a possible Islamist extremist motive.”
This attack is one of a trio of attacks taking place on Friday. The other two took place in Tunisia and Kuwait. So far the attack in Kuwait is the only one being claimed by ISIS.
The Tunisia attack claimed the lives of at least 28 people, mostly tourists staying at a beach from hotel in Sousse.
The French attack comes despite the extra security measures that have been in place since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. French President François Hollande is wasting no time calling this incident a “pure terrorist attack.”
According to the U.S. firm that owns the Air Products & Chemicals factory all employees are accounted for, and their continued safety is their top priority.
At this time it appears the attack was perpetrated by a known delivery driver who visits the plant. Paris Prosecutor François Molins says that the beheading victim was a 54-year-old boss at the delivery company.
The driver apparently drove at a high rate of speed into a building on the factory that contained gas containers. The van contained the decapitated body of the victim, a knife, and some flags inscribed with a profession of faith in Islam.
“There is no doubt that the intention was to provoke an attack, an explosion,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
According to responding firefighters the suspect was attempting to open containers in a warehouse that contained dangerous materials. The van he drove in to the building was nearly destroyed by the time firefighters arrived.
“One person was in the vehicle, but four people have been detained so far — the main suspect, his wife, his sister and another individual who has been involved in a criminal organization.” Molins said.
President Hollande urged French citizens to remain united and let security forces do their work. He also stated he does not want French people to “give in to fear.”