PARIS — Belgium’s interior minister says Islamic State gave a false name for the man who attacked police on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
Islamic State’s claim of responsibility came just a few hours after the attack — far more quickly than other similar claims — and the statement gave the attacker a pseudonym that would mean he was Belgian or had ties to Belgium.
Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said today, “The guy who yesterday did the act was not a Belgian. He was French.”
RELATED ARTICLE: ISIS group claims responsibility for Champs-Elysees attack
Asked about the Abu Yusuf Al-Beljiki pseudonym given by IS, Jambon said he “is certainly not the guy who committed the crime yesterday.”
IS has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria and has seen the number of foreign recruits, notably from Europe, dwindle.
The swift claim indicated the group may have been trying to capitalize on the widespread attention from a high-profile attack at a time when Islamic extremism and security are at the center of France’s presidential campaign.
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