26 Jun 2015

Grenoble: man decapitated in terror attack on gas company

Terrorists try to blow up a US-owned gas facility in France. A severed head covered in Arabic writing is found at the scene.

Security officials stand near an area where a decapitated body was found (Getty)

French security personnel guard the area where the decapitated body was found (Getty)

  • Severed head was covered in Arabic writing
  • President Hollande says incident has “all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack”
  • One man arrested – identified as Yassine Salhi

Two terrorists rammed a car into a site owned by US gas company Air Products just before 10am, sparking an explosion as they attempted to blow up gas containers.

One man was found decapitated. His severed head was seen hanging on a fence nearby covered in an Arabic inscription.

Two other people were injured in the attack.

Police arrested one man who was later said to have been under investigation over allegations of radicalisation. He is reportedly being held at a police station in Bourgoin-Jallieu and is refusing to answer questions.

A second unnamed man, who may have been injured in the blast, is also being held by police.

A security official said two flags, one black and one white, with Arabic inscriptions, were also found at the scene.

Police gather near the entrance to the factory (Getty)

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve named the suspect as Yassine Salhi, 35, adding: “This person was the subject of an “S” (security) file for radicalisation in 2006, which wasn’t renewed in 2008. He didn’t have a criminal record.”

Speaking in Brussels, French President Francois Hollande said: “The attack has all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack.

“A decapitated body was found with inscription written on it. There is one dead and two injured. The suspect was arrested and identified.”

He said France would “never give into fear” and the attack must not “create unnecessary division”.

Emergency services arrive at the scene (picture: Dauphine Libere)

Emergency services arrive at the scene (Picture: Dauphine Libere)

David Cameron has spoken to Mr Hollande at the EU summit in Brussels. A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “He expressed his sympathies for what looks like an appalling incident.

“Details are still emerging, so we wait to see those. But it clearly looks an extremely concerning situation and our thoughts are with all those affected by it.”

French prosecutors said the anti-terrorist police branch has been deployed to investigate. The Paris prosecutor’s office said an investigation has been opened into murder and attempted murder by an organised group in relation to terrorism.

The incident comes after brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi killed 12 people, including two police officers, in attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January.