Police in France are questioning a suspect they believe was responsible for an explosion and the beheading of a man at a factory near Lyon on Friday. Officials reportedly say he took a “selfie” with the slain victim — his boss at the plant — and sent it to an unidentified Canadian mobile phone number.
The suspect, Yassine Salhi, 35, is a truck driver “with a history of radical Islamic ties,” according to Reuters. Authorities believe he caused an explosion by ramming his vehicle into an area at the plant containing flammable chemicals. He then allegedly placed his employer’s severed head on the factory gate along with Arabic inscriptions, Reuters says.
The factory is owned by Air Products, an American company headquartered in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, French investigators were trying to pin down the identity of the recipient of the photo sent by phone. Reuters quotes unnamed security officials as saying they believe it to be “an unspecified person now in Syria.”
The BBC says that Salhi was arrested at the Air Products factory in Lyon on Friday morning:
“Later, anti-terror police searched the apartment of Mr Salhi, a father-of-three, in the Moines neighbourhood of the town.
“They took his wife and sister into custody. Another man was arrested but released without charge.
“Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office, has said police have so far not found any motive or possible foreign connection, and that Mr Salhi is not speaking to investigators.”