An Islamist terrorist tied his boss’s severed head to a fence before making a failed ram raid on a chemical factory near Lyon.
Investigators believe the attack was intended to take scores of lives.
Images caught on security cameras of the attacker placing the head on the factory fence before the attack have shocked France. The head was wrapped in an Isis banner carrying a message in Arabic.
French special Police forces escort a woman from a residential building during a raid in Saint-Priest, near Lyon
Special forces of France's Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) leave the building housing the apartment of a man suspected of carrying out an attack in Saint-Priest near Lyon
Police investigators carry banners with illegible Arabic writing on them
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a suspected Islamist attack, outside the Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier
Investigating police officers work outside the plant where an attack took place, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon
French police secure the entrance of the Air Products company
Investigators believe that those who planned the raid assumed that the whole factory would explode
French security and emergency services gather at the scene
French police and firefighters secure the entrance of the Air Products company
The placing of a severed head on the factory’s fence appeared to be deliberately provocative reference to the Isis practice of beheading enemies
It is understood that the attacker had previously been under surveillance by the French security services for alleged involvement with Salafist Islamic radicals
Investigators believe that the Air Products factory was targeted because it was US-owned and was assumed to contain highly explosive chemicals
French police cordon off the area of the attack