Redouane Lakdim

Redouane Lakdim was the Moroccan-born perpetrator of the March 23, 2018 attacks in Carcassonne and Trèbes, France that killed four people and wounded 15 others.Johanna Decorse, “Islamist gunman attacks French supermarket, kills three,” Reuters, March 23, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security/islamist-gunman-attacks-french-supermarket-kills-three-idUSKBN1GZ1EY; Kim Willsher, “‘He has fallen a hero’: French gendarme who replaced hostages dies,” Guardian (London), March 24, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/he-has-fallen-a-hero-gendarme-who-replaced-hostage-in-french-siege-dies. Lakdim had been under surveillance by French authorities prior to the attack, but reportedly showed no signs of being an immediate threat.“France attack: Lakdim’s girlfriend ‘known to security services’, BBC News, March 26, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43539728; Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html. Following the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility, calling Lakdim a “soldier of the Islamic State.”Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html.

Born in Morocco, Lakdim had become a naturalized French citizen in 2004. At the time of the attack, he lived in an apartment with his parents and sister in Carcassonne, France.“Qui est Radouane Lakdim, l’auteur des attaques dans l’Aude?” Le Point (Paris), March 23, 2018, http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/aude-qui-est-redouane-l-l-auteur-des-attaques-a-carcassonne-et-trebes-23-03-2018-2205069_23.php. He was previously known to authorities for petty crimes, and was imprisoned in 2015 for illegal weapons possession and again in 2016 for drug possession.Kim Willsher, “‘He has fallen a hero’: French gendarme who replaced hostages dies,” Guardian (London), March 24, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/he-has-fallen-a-hero-gendarme-who-replaced-hostage-in-french-siege-dies; “Qui est Radouane Lakdim, le suspect des attaques terroristes dans l’Aude,” Le Parisien (Paris), March 23, 2018, http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/qui-est-le-suspect-des-attaques-terroristes-dans-l-aude-23-03-2018-7625091.php. Lakdim was reportedly flagged as a potential security threat in 2014, and was under surveillance by authorities throughout 2016 and 2017 due to reports of his radicalization and alleged links to the Salafist movement, though investigators found no signs that suggested that he would carry out a violent act.“France attack: Lakdim’s girlfriend ‘known to security services’, BBC News, March 26, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43539728; Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html. He was also reportedly suspected of making a trip to Syria, though the report is unconfirmed.“Qui est Radouane Lakdim, le suspect des attaques terroristes dans l’Aude,” Le Parisien (Paris), March 23, 2018, http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/qui-est-le-suspect-des-attaques-terroristes-dans-l-aude-23-03-2018-7625091.php.

On the morning of March 23, 2018, Lakdim shot dead one person and injured another while hijacking a car in Carcassonne, France.Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html; “France shooting: Police kill supermarket gunman,” BBC News, March 23, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43518769. He then drove up to a group of police officers who were jogging and opened fire, shooting one in the shoulder.Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html. Lakdim then drove the stolen car about fifteen minutes to the town of Trèbes, where he entered a Super-U supermarket reportedly shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and declaring that he was a “soldier of Daesh” ready to die for Syria. Lakdim shot dead a customer and employee and took about 50 people as hostages in the supermarket, reportedly demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, one of the terrorists that carried out the November 13, 2015 terror attack in Paris. Though police officers managed to secure the release of some of the hostages, Lakdim attempted to hold one woman back as a human shield, at which point an officer volunteered to take her place.Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html; “France shooting: Police kill supermarket gunman,” BBC News, March 23, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43518769; Johanna Decors, “France supermarket attacker pledged to ‘die for Syria,’” Reuters, March 23, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-attacker/france-supermarket-attacker-pledged-to-die-for-syria-idUSKBN1GZ26T. The siege lasted for four hours before a SWAT team stormed the supermarket and killed Lakdim.Kim Willsher, “‘He has fallen a hero’: French gendarme who replaced hostages dies,” Guardian (London), March 24, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/he-has-fallen-a-hero-gendarme-who-replaced-hostage-in-french-siege-dies; “France shooting: Police kill supermarket gunman,” BBC News, March 23, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43518769. The officer who had swapped himself for hostage was seriously wounded and died of his injuries the following day, bringing the total death toll of the attacks to four. A total of 15 others were wounded.Kim Willsher, “‘He has fallen a hero’: French gendarme who replaced hostages dies,” Guardian (London), March 24, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/he-has-fallen-a-hero-gendarme-who-replaced-hostage-in-french-siege-dies. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating that Lakdim was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html.

According to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, it appeared that Lakdim had acted alone.Jon Sharman and May Bulman, “Trèbes siege: French President Macron calls supermarket attack an ‘act of Islamic terror,” Independent (London), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trebes-hostage-supermarket-armed-siege-terror-france-carcassonne-police-shooting-a8269981.html. Nonetheless, two of Lakdim’s friends were taken into custody after the attack, including his 18-year-old girlfriend who had been known to security services for at least a year and allegedly showed “signs of radicalization.”“France attack: Lakdim’s girlfriend ‘known to security services’, BBC News, March 26, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43539728.

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