Could its Shia leadership have been why it was targeted by members of the Islamic State, a Sunni group that has declared jihad against Shi’ites as well as against the West (and particularly France)? Or was it targeted simply because it is a gas factory, and the pious killers were hoping for a gas explosion that would maximize the carnage? No way to tell as yet, but these are live possibilities. A man has been arrested, but he is thus far refusing to talk.
“Grenoble attack: Man found beheaded and Islamist flag raised above factory in France – latest,” Telegraph, June 26, 2015:
Alain Juppé, the mayor of Bordeaux, has condemned the attacks saying that France “must make every effort to protect its citizens”.
“The terrorist threat is at a maximum,” he says.
Mr Hollande is returning home early from the EU summit on Friday, officials said….
The man arrested is refusing to talk, according to BFM TV reporters. The channel reports that the individual has no papers that can identify him thus police have not yet been able to either.
A security official said the torso was found near the site of the explosion but that the victim was not decapitated by the blast.
Two flags, one white and one black and both with Arabic inscriptions, were found at the scene, Associated Press reported….
Some background from Josie Ensor about Air Products.
It is interesting to note that the president of the company targeted in the attack, Air Products, is a Shia Iranian named Seifi Ghasemi.
Iran supports Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, which is battling against Sunni Islamic State militants….
…France’s anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry for “murder and attempted murder in a group in relation to a terrorist organisation”, writes Henry Samuel in Paris.
Itele cites police sources as describing as “false” reports that the man arrested is known to French intelligence services.
The 40-odd employees in the factory have been evacuated.
Witnesses at the scene said there was more than one attacker involved but this is unconfirmed.
What we know so far from AFP:
A suspected Islamist attacker pinned a decapitated head covered with Arabic writing to the gates of a gas factory in eastern France on Friday before being arrested, police say
The suspect entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said at around 10am local time
Police said it was unclear whether the attacker was acting alone, or had accomplices
A man thought to be the person who carried out the attack has been arrested – it is reported he is known to the security services
Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister said is on his way to the scene, his office say
The man arrested reportedly said he was a member of Islamic State….