Terror attack at French factory

A US owned industrial gas factory in southeastern France was the target of a horrific terrorist attack the left at least one dead and perhaps dozens more injured.

The severed head of an unknown man was stuck on the front gate of the factory. The head was covered in Arabic inscriptions and two black Islamist flags were posted nearby. It is unknown if the man was killed elsewhere and his body taken to the plant.

Reportedly, there were two assailants, one of whom is in custody and told authorities he was a member of Islamic State. At least one of the men was known to authorities. Police have already made several arrests.


One person has been beheaded and two people injured in a terrorist attack at a gas factory in southeastern France, French President Francois Hollande said Friday.

In a televised address from a summit in Brussels, Belgium, he called the incident a "pure terrorist attack."

Hollande said a body had been found, along with a severed head with a message.

A suspect has been arrested and identified, he said, and a large contingent of police has secured the site.

The attack took place just before 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), he said, when a vehicle was driven at high speed into the factory site and into a building housing gas canisters.

"There is no doubt that the intention was to provoke an attack, an explosion," he said.

Hollande expressed his condolences and solidarity with the victims of the attack.

French news agency AFP earlier reported that a suspected Islamist attacker pinned a severed head covered with Arabic writing to the gates of the factory

A source cited by BFMTV also said a severed head had been put in front of the company, next to which was found an Islamist flag. CNN has not been able to confirm the report independently.

A man described as a witness, whose name was given as Patrice, also told BFMTV that a group of men carrying Islamist flags forced their way into the factory, beheaded a person and targeted gas tanks.

The Daily Mail is reporting that "dozens were injured" in the attack, apparently in an effort to blow the facility sky high. 

The murder is believed to have been accompanied by several explosions on the site cause by a terrorist igniting small 'gas bombs' that injured dozens of factory workers. It is believed the explosions may have intended to blow up the entire factory site but failed.

The murdered man's head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory's fence. The dead man's head was covered in Arabic 'inscriptions' before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene.

A 30-year-old man - named by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve as Yacine Sali who is understood to have been known to security services since at least 2006 - has already been arrested at the scene, telling police officers that he is a member of the Islamic State terror group. The man is believed not to have a criminal record but was considered to have 'possibly been radicalised'.

No doubt we were either lucky they missed blowing up the plant or the terrorists were incompetent. 

This is the second major terrorist attack in France this year, following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January. The similarities are striking. A small cell of terrorists, one or more known to law enforcement, meticulously plan an attack and carry it out with brutality.. Whether inspired by Islamic State or whether the terrorists were actually dispatched to France to carry out the mission, this is a relatively new threat that would appear to be nearly impossible to prevent. And the increase in frequency of arrests by western police departments of potential ISIS recruits would suggest the problem is only going to get worse.

Perhaps it's time to start shutting down these Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and websites of radical Islamists. Clearly, they are winning the propaganda battle and radicalizing hundreds in the process. Meanwhile, we are doing little both at home and abroad to curtail the influence of Islamic State, as their army continues to grow and the threat of a terror attack on American soil skyrockets.

Thomas Lifson adds: At least the French did not hestotate to call it a terror attack, as opposed to "workplace violence"

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