Suspect confesses in French factory attack

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The suspect accused of decapitating his boss during an attack on a gas factory in France has confessed, according to French news reports.

Yassin Salhi, 35, gave details about the attack and said he had a dispute with his boss at the U.S.-owned Herve Cornara factory near Lyon, the French daily Le Parisien reported Sunday. The father of three, who lives in suburban Lyon, told interrogators that he also had problems at home.

Salhi was transferred to Paris from Lyon on Sunday for further questioning.

Following the confession, Salhi’s wife and sister were released after being in police custody for nearly two days.

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Salhi reportedly took two “selfie” photos of himself with the severed head on the gate, which reportedly was covered with Arabic writing, and sent them via WhatsApp to a phone number in Canada.

French investigators believe that Salhi’s links with radical Islam are also related to the attack. Salhi had been known to French security services for “radicalization” but slipped through the net, the French news agency AFP reported.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday that Salhi had been investigated for links to radical Islamists in Lyon, but was not known to have participated in terrorist activities and did not have a criminal record, according to AFP.

In July 2011, two men identified as being of North African descent exchanged blows with a Jewish teenager aboard a train from Toulouse to Lyon. The teenager said one of the men, who he identified as Salhi, had made anti-Semitic remarks.

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