A radicalized attacker under surveillance, a brother in prison in a case linked to jihadism, another detainee “with a truly worrying profile” and six other people in police custody: what do we know this Sunday about the investigation into the attack ‘Arras which cost the life of a teacher and injured three other people?
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Being placed under surveillance
Mohammed Mogouchkov, 20, was born in Malgobek, in the predominantly Muslim Russian Republic of Ingushetia, according to the administration, and arrived in France in 2008.
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He had no criminal record but had been followed “since the end of July”, according to Gérald Darmanin, by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), thanks to wiretapping and physical surveillance measures.
This surveillance was put in place “because there were links” between him and his detained brother, the Minister of the Interior explained on Saturday.
Nine people still in police custody
Of the eleven people who were in police custody on Saturday, nine were still in custody on Sunday, at the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate of the Judicial Police (Sdat) and at the DGSI.
Among them, Mohammed Mogouchkov, two brothers of the attacker including the one incarcerated, his sister born in 2005, his mother, one of his uncles and an inmate.
However, two police officers were released: two Belarusians, “who had nothing to do with the investigation”, AFP learned from police sources.
Since his arrest on Friday, Mohammed Mogouchkov “has not spoken,” said one of these sources. Police custody can last up to 96 hours.
The author’s “motivations” “remain to be defined”, Gérald Darmanin said on Saturday, while he affirmed on Friday on TF1 that there was “without doubt” a link with the events in the Middle East.
An entourage at the heart of the investigation
“The father and brother had a determining influence, it seems, in the act,” according to a police source at AFP.
The father of the attacker, on S file and deported in 2018, “was a supporter of radical Islam”, explained the Minister of the Interior.
He is “very probably in Georgia”, a police source said on Sunday.
His older brother was sentenced to five years of imprisonment, in 2023, for not having denounced a planned attack near the Presidency of the Republic, of which he was aware. He was later convicted of advocating terrorism.
The case of another detainee, also in police custody, raises questions among investigators. According to Le Parisien, this radicalized prisoner communicated with the attacker on secure networks. According to a source close to the case at AFP, Maxime C. has a “really worrying profile”. During his detentions in different prisons, he was “noted to have an influence on fellow prisoners”.
“No flaws” according to the authorities
There was “no failure by the intelligence services”, affirmed Gérald Darmanin. “Nothing in the elements that we were able to obtain made it possible to predict that this individual (…) could carry out the act,” added Élisabeth Borne in La Tribune Dimanche.
Mohammed Mogouchkov was checked on Thursday, the day before the incident, without “any offense being held against him”.
This check was intended to check “if he did not have weapons on him, but also to carry out more intrusive intelligence techniques and in particular to access his phone and the encrypted messaging on his phone”, according to Gérald Darmanin.
“He probably missed a few hours” to allow investigators to exploit these techniques, he said, adding that it was however “not certain” that the author was talking on his phone before his visit. to the act.
His profile “is therefore similar to a radicalized individual whose potential is known but who suddenly decides to take action, making his neutralization difficult”, according to an intelligence source.
“The only thing we knew about this person was when he attacked his mother. He was detained for domestic violence,” according to the Minister of the Interior.
The attacker could not legally be deported, having entered France before the age of 13, underlined Gérald Darmanin.
“What more could we do in this case? Should what is unpredictable be expected?” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said on Sunday on France Inter.