The details are just coming in, but there has been a terror attack at a gas factory near Lyon, France.

At least one, possibly two, attackers beheaded a man and posted his head on a fence, and tried (unsuccessfully) to blow up the factory.

We will update as more details are confirmed.

CBS News reports:

One person was found decapitated and two others injured Friday after an assailant — with a possible accomplice — drove a vehicle onto an industrial complex near the eastern city of Lyon and tried to blow up a gas factory.

“The intent was without doubt to cause an explosion. It was a terrorist attack,” President Francois Hollande said at a news conference in Belgium.

The attack targeted a chemical factory in the town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, about 20 miles southeast of Lyon. The plant is owned by the U.S. firm Air Products.

The slain victim’s head was found yards away from the body, stuck on a permiter fence, with Arabic writing on or near it. There were also flags or banners bearing Arabic writing found at the scene.


The Washington Post reports four in custody:

French prosecutors say the suspect who they believe attacked a U.S. gas plant in France is a local truck driver who was known to workers at the Air Products plant.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday that the suspect, his wife, sister and another person who he would not describe further were in custody. He said the man found decapitated at the factory on Friday was the boss of the transportation company that the driver worked for in southeastern France.

Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press they haven’t started asking questions about what might have motivated the attack and says it’s too early to say whether there could be a connection to international terror groups.

According to the Times of Israel, the suspect in custody was involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2011:

e French Islamist arrested on suspicion of having decapitated his boss at a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon, earlier today, was involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2011, according to reports.

The man was identified as Yassine Salhi, 35, a father of three, born to an Algerian father and a Moroccan mother.

Four years ago, Salhi and another man were reported to have hit a Jewish teenager and to have hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him while travelling on a train from Toulouse to Lyon, according to a report on JTA.

A year later, the other man, who was not named was given a six-month suspended sentence.

“You Jews with your skullcaps, you think you run the world,” Salhi is reported to have said to the teenager, adding other profanities.

The second assailant then followed the teenager to the train bar, making derogatory remarks about him, his mother, father “and your whole race,” before hitting him in the chest.

From CNN:

• The beheading victim was a 50-year-old man, said French President Francois Hollande, as he announced security was being raised to the maximum level in the region where the attack took place.

• The U.S. chemical firm whose factory was attacked says all its employees are accounted for; the attack victim has not yet been publicly identified.

• The suspect is “somebody who was in touch with (Muslim fundamentalist) Salafists,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. The man had been under surveillance but was not previously involved in terrorist activities, he said.

• French authorities are “investigating any other people that could be accomplices,” Cazeneuve said.