Yassin Salhi, the man detained Friday in connection with a deadly attack on a gas factory in southern France, was known to intelligence services but had not been actively monitored by security officers since 2008.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Salhi, 35, a father of three who lived in a suburb of Lyon, had been placed on a “radicalization list.” An image of Salhi, who local French media reported may be of Moroccan and Algeria descent, was not immediately available.
A man was decapitated and two other people were injured in the attack, which began when a car was driven into gas canisters, setting off an explosion.
Cazeneuve said Salhi was thought to be under the influence of the extreme Salafist branch of Islam that calls for the faithful to return to the religion’s roots. His case was filed under “form S” — meaning he was marked as a person susceptible to engaging in harmful acts against France but who had not traveled to Syria or Iraq.
Those two counties are at the center of a recruitment drive by the Islamic State extremist group. Two flags — one black and one white — with Arabic inscriptions were found at the scene, the Associated Press reported.