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French police forces stand outside Orly airport, south of Paris, Saturday, March, 18, 2017. Soldiers at Paris' busy Orly Aiport shot and killed a man who wrestled one of their colleagues to the ground and tried to steal her rifle Saturday, officials said. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

The father of the Paris airport attacker said his son was not a terrorist, just drunk


The father of the man who was shot and killed after attacking a Paris airport Saturday insisted his son was "not a terrorist." 

Instead, Ziyed Ben Belgacem was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, his father told France's Europe 1 radio station.

Belgacem had been on local authorities' radar for suspected Islamic extremism. His house had been searched after the November 2015 attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. He reportedly yelled, "I am here to die in the name of Allah ... .There will be deaths" before he was shot and killed.

This is what happens under the influence of drink and cannabis.
Ziyed Ben Belgacem's father

Belgacem reportedly stole a rifle from a police officer and shot her, causing non-life-threatening injuries. He then went to Orly airport and tried to steal a soldier's weapon before he was shot.

His father and brother was detained for questioning as part of standard investigation procedure. The father has since been released.

He said to me: 'Daddy, please forgive me. I've screwed up with a police officer.'
Ziyed Ben Belgacem's father

Belgacem's father said his son begged forgiveness after stealing the officer's gun. 

"I said I didn't forgive him 'because you hurt a policeman,'" his father said Sunday. 

Belgacem had been imprisoned several times on violence and theft convictions, including a five-year stint that started in 2009, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.  

An autopsy planned for Sunday will include an examination to see if Belgacem was drunk or otherwise under the influence at the time of the attack. 

Here's a look at the airport in the aftermath of the attack.

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