Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack, AFP reported, citing the media agency Amaq, which is affiliated with the terrorist group. It also named Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki as the man behind the attack.
NBC News: ISIS takes credit for the attack in Paris. They say Abu Yousef Al-Baljiki (the Belgian) is an ISIS soldier and was the gunman.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) April 20, 2017
The shooting took place on the central boulevard of Champs Elysees.
— Ministère Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) April 20, 2017
The French Interior Ministry confirmed in a Twitter post that the attacker targeted a police bus parked on the boulevard.
The gunman who killed the police officer was already known to law enforcement services, police confirmed without revealing the identity of the attacker.
Addressing the nation following a crisis meeting at the presidential palace, French President Francois Hollande said that all leads indicate that the attack was of a “terrorist nature.”
Hollande assured the public that “we will be absolutely vigilant” during the upcoming presidential election.
He announced that a security council will convene for a meeting at 8am on Friday, adding that “a national tribute” would be paid to the slain police officer.
Intervention de police en cours sur le secteur des #ChampsElysees Evitez le secteur et respectez les consignes des forces de police
— Préfecture de police (@prefpolice) April 20, 2017
The assault was “very probably” a “terrorist act,” with two attackers apparently involved, Reuters reported, citing police source.
The French counter-terrorism office has opened an investigation into the incident, the Paris Prosecutor’s Office said. In the meantime, Reuters reports that the police raided the apartment of the attacker killed in the shootout, which is located to the east from Paris.
A bomb disposal team has been called in to inspect the vehicle of the assailant, the Interior Ministry said.
— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) April 20, 2017