Attack in Lyon: The Suspect Admits to Having Designed the Parcel Bomb

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The police leave the residence "les Ifs" on May 27, 2019 in Oullins near Lyon where a suspect of the attack committed last week was arrested.

Since the beginning of his detention on Monday 28th May, 2019, for the parcel bomb attack in Lyon, this Algerian 24 years is not very cooperative with the investigators.

“Little talkative” since his arrest Monday 28th May, 2019, the main suspect of the parcel bomb attack in Lyon made first confessions after forty-eight hours in custody : it is he who designed the parcel bomb whose explosion made thirteen light wounded on Friday, a source close to the file was informed on Wednesday.

Until his transfer Tuesday night in the premises of the Sub-Directorate anti-terrorist (Sdat) in the suburbs of Paris, Mohamed Hichem, a Algerian 24 years , had been uncooperative, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Several elements of the file were however overwhelming.

Read also: Parcel trapped in Lyon: the main suspect has confessed

Did he want to kill? Is he radicalised?

The investigation was able to determine that “the genetic profile identified on the elements of the machine found at the scene of the explosion corresponds to that of the main suspect,” according to another source close to the record.

During searches carried out in the family home of Oullins, in the suburbs of Lyon, “elements likely to enter the composition of the TATP (an explosive, ed) were found,” according to the same source.

His father, mother and brother are also in custody since Monday.

Despite these early confessions, his motives remain mysterious. The exploitation of computer equipment seized during the searches, however, “highlighted research on the internet related to jihad and the manufacture of explosive devices”.

Did he want to kill? Is he radicalised? The investigators are still trying to clarify the reasons for his action.

There is “a strange character between the disproportion of a very efficient technical process and a very low explosive volume. There are real inconsistencies in this issue, “said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, called to order Tuesday, May 29, 2019 by the Paris prosecutor for making public elements covered by the secrecy of the investigation.

Screenshot of a video surveillance of the city of Lyon showing the main suspect of the parcel bomb attack in the city center of Lyon, May 24, 2019.
Screenshot of a video surveillance of the city of Lyon showing the main suspect of the parcel bomb attack in the city center of Lyon, May 24, 2019. (© FRENCH POLICE / AFP / Archives / Handout)

Personality “very closed”

The young man, arrested Monday morning on the descent of a bus in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon, was unknown to most of his neighbours in his residence in Oullins, endorsing the track of a very discreet personality. Even “very closed”, as described by the source close to the file.

“Every morning he supposedly went to work. But we did not know that he was not working in fact, “admitted a neighbor to palliate. Only one resident described him as “rather pleasant, helpful” who “played sports”.

First introduced as a “computer student”, Mohamed Hichem M. was in fact “without activity”. The Lyon school where he was supposed to be registered said he had never been part of the school. “Two years ago, he had” unsubscribed “before the return after the refusal of the issuance of his visa. ”

“He had short-stay visas and then applied for a student visa to get into a school. He did not have a student visa, “confirmed Mr. Castaner.

On his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as a “developer”, a student at the University of Oran Es-Sénia . On his profile picture, he appears very smiling, his face adorned with thin glasses and a three-day beard.

Police officers secure a perimeter in front of "La Brioche dorée" after the explosion of a parcel bomb on a pedestrian street in Lyon on May 24, 2019.
Police officers secure a perimeter in front of “La Brioche dorée” after the explosion of a parcel bomb on a pedestrian street in Lyon on May 24, 2019. (© AFP / Archives / PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

On Friday at around 5.30 pm, a young man on a bicycle, wearing a cap and sunglasses, had placed a paper bag in front of a bakery in a pedestrian street, containing screws, metal balls, batteries and a printed circuit board. a remote triggering device.

The explosion of this parcel bomb had aroused strong emotion in Lyon, spared so far by the jihadist attacks.

The investigators were able to follow his itinerary by bike thanks to the crossroads of video surveillance of the municipalities of Lyon and Oullins . The exploitation of his telephone data and the purchases made on the Internet also made it possible to go back to him.

During his arrest on Monday morning by the Investigation and Intervention Brigade (BRI) of the judicial police of Lyon, he did not resist.

Attack in Lyon: The Suspect Admits to Having Designed the Parcel Bomb 1

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