London: Seven British citizens of Pakistani descent were detained in connection with an attempted ‘hit and run’ of a police officer outside the Israeli Embassy in Paris.
Travelling in a Mercedes and a BMW with false number plates, the four men and three women have not been named. However, they are said to be Londoners of Pakistani origin.
Their vehicles were filmed and the group was seen threatening a policeman outside the hugely secure Embassy close to the Champs Elysee on Monday night.
Video surveillance cameras picked up the faces of three suspects in a Mercedes and three others in a BMW, and all were considered to be in a group, along with a seventh suspect who was not in any of the cars.
The two vehicles managed to escape after the 7 pm attack, and were later seen ‘lurking’ close to the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French President.
A city-wide manhunt was launched by the French police and all the suspects were taken into custody at a secure police station in Paris by Tuesday.
Prosecutors on Wednesday confirmed that the men and women ï¿½ including two minors in their late teens ï¿½ are being investigated for ‘the attempted murder of a person in public authority’. The suspects can be sentenced to life imprisonment in France.
The incident comes after the horrific killing of 47-year-old teacher, Samuel Paty, last Friday by a refugee Islamist terrorist after cartoons of Prophet Mohammed were shown by Paty to his students in a class on freedom of speech.
An attempted murder enquiry has also been opened in Paris after two Muslim women were ‘stabbed repeatedly’ underneath the Eiffel Tower. French police have arrested two women following the suspected racist attacks on Sunday which were allegedly accompanied by the words ‘Dirty Arabs!’
French President Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to come up with an effective response to the series of Islamist terror attacks that have rocked France since the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre.