French factory attack: Suspect posed for and sent selfie of boss’ severed head


The driver responsible for an alleged terrorist attack on a French gas factory, reportedly sent a selfie of his boss’ severed head to a Canadian number after using his vehicle as a battering-ram to blow the facility up. 

According to reports, 35-year old father of three Yassin Salhi, who has since been taken into the custody along with his wife and sister, messaged the image of himself posing with the head of 54-year old Hervé Cornara via WhatsApp, shortly after ramming his van into a number of gas canisters at the office of US-owned firm, Air Products, in the small town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier near Lyon on Friday morning.

The subsequent blast injured two people while Cornara’s head, which had been covered in Islamic drawings, was found hanging from a security fence between two flags allegedly making reference to the Islamic State (Isis). His body was later found in the back of the van, suggesting he might have been killed before the attack took place.

Addressing the media, Paris Prosecutor François Molins said that CCTV video footage obtained from the plant, showed Salhi entering the facility through the security area to drop off supplies. Minutes later, the van is seen is hurtling towards the warehouse where the canisters are contained before an explosion is heard.

Molins stated that Salhi was taken down by arriving firefighters after being caught trying to open undamaged canisters of acetone.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has meanwhile confirmed that Canadian authorities are assisting France in tracking down the cellphone number which the image was sent to.

“While I cannot comment on operational matters of national security, we are assisting the French authorities with their investigation,” Canadian Spokesperson for Public Safety, Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, was quoted by the paper as saying.

Media reports that the number might have belong to a Syrian national have however not been confirmed.


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