Karim Cheurfi, 39 years old, who killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysées on Thursday evening before being shot dead, was a repeat offender, clearly obsessed by the idea of taking on the forces of law and order, but was not known as an islamist radicalized.
“Here, everybody knows, it is someone who has lost the reason, psychologically really achieved”, says to AFP under cover of anonymity, a resident of his neighbourhood quiet and residential Chelles (Seine-et-Marne). the “His actions, his reactions, his way of walking, his attitude had shifted, as if it came from Mars”, he continued. the “It has a grain”, confirms Salim, who presents himself as a friend of a friend of his cousins.
Born on 31 December 1977 in Livry-Gargan (Seine-Saint-Denis), another district of the paris region, Karim Cheurfi had been arrested on 23 February by the judicial police of Meaux, suspected of trying to kill police officers. But he was released the following day, at the end of his police custody, in the absence of elements, according to sources close to the investigation. Since march, he was targeted by an anti-terrorism investigation entrusted to the Directorate-general of internal security (ISB) but it was not a “record S”, according to one of those sources.
This man without a profession known had already been several times to the court, for robberies and three attempted homicide. In February 2005, he had been sentenced on appeal to fifteen years of imprisonment for having tried to kill a student keeper of the peace wearing a cuff “police” and the brother of the latter.
The facts dating back to 2001: Karim Cheurfi, circulating in Roissy-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne) at the wheel of a stolen car, had fled after crashing into another vehicle. Armed with a revolver, he had seriously injured the two brothers who were trying to catch up. Two days later, he had attempted to kill another police officer that he seized the weapon in his custody.
- “Hatred against the police, against France”
After his release from prison in July 2013, he had committed three months later, an aggravated robbery that had ended in a chase with police. He had been sentenced in July 2014 to Meaux for these new facts to four years imprisonment, two years suspended with probation. the “there was at the time no sign of radicalization, we had more to do with someone very lonely and introverted, with big problems of communication. He spoke very little, is not to be defended not”, remembers his lawyer at the time, Jean-Laurent shopping Cart. the “It was someone closed in on itself”, abounds with a source within the prison. the “It was marked by the prison, but not marked by religion or other”, writes Mohammed, 21 years old, who lives in the small HOUSING estate close to the pavilion where Karim Cheurfi lived with his mother. the “He had a hatred of justice and the police, ( … ), he may have farted a lead coming out of prison.” After its new release in 2015, it had not particularly made about him. the “We did a lot of small files on it, but nothing transcendent. (…) He had managed to make a little forget.”, reported a police source.
His attack on the Champs-Elysées was almost immediately claimed by the islamic State (EI), but this claim raises the question as jihadist gives a name of war by a jihadist belgian named as “Abu Yussef, the Belgian”. But a message manuscript, taking the defense of “Daech” (acronym of the ir in Arabic), was found near the body of the assailant on the Champs-Elysées, and a Koran in his car. In his neighborhood, Karim Cheurfi is not described as a man radicalized, who have been able to gravitate in the nebula salafist jihadist. the “He didn’t even use a remote control, then go on the internet and contact Daech, I guess not!”, lance Salim. Abdel, another neighbor of 23 years, abounds: “He had a hatred against the police, against France. It was marked by the prison. But Daech, it is no matter what”.
The man was not known as having any practical muslim community. the “I often go to the mosque, I’ve never seen”, said Salim.
According to BFM TV, a shotgun, knives and a kitchen knife were found in the car of the assailant. During the search of the family home in Chelles (Seine-et-Marne), a double pavilion, shortly after the facts Thursday night, a computer,telephones, rifle butts, prayer mat, an application for a hunting permit, a Quran and a sawn-off have been discovered.
on This Friday afternoon, three members of the family of Karim Cheurfi are under the police custody.