Jihadi inmate ambushes and stabs two officers with 'ceramic knife' smuggled into prison by his pregnant wife
After attacking two guards while shouting 'Allahu Akbar', Michael Chiolo and his wife locked themselves inside the 'family facility' of Alencon-Conde-sur-Sarthe prison in Normandy
It has come to light that the jihadi inmate who knifed two prison guards in France on Tuesday before his pregnant wife was gunned down in front of him was allegedly "avenging" the killing of Strasbourg terrorist Cherif Chekatt.
After attacking two guards while shouting "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is the Greatest"), the 27-year-old Michael Chiolo and his wife locked themselves inside the "family facility" of the maximum-security Alencon-Conde-sur-Sarthe prison in Normandy, according to a Daily Mail report.
The situation turned into a 10-hour standoff between the pair and prison guards, and police eventually moved in and shot and injured the duo. The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, succumbed to her injuries.
According to witnesses at the facility, Chiolo "wanted to avenge" Islamist terrorist Cherif Chekatt, who killed five people and wounded 11 at a Christmas market in Strasbourg before being shot dead by the police. Addressing reporters, Prosecutor Remy Heitz said, "(He) said he wanted to avenge Cherif Chekatt. He said he was wearing an explosive belt and threatened to use it." However, the belt turned out to be a dummy.
Several prison guards torched tires and pallets outside the facility to protest their working situation following the brazen attack. The revolt has since spread across France, and 18 prisons are on permanent lockdown until the situation subsides.
Such attacks against prison guards are becoming more commonplace and intolerable, according to a statement by the main CGT union. According to them, the penal population was turning "increasingly vindictive, aggressive and violent."
When Chiolo was handed a 30-year sentence in 2014 for murdering a Holocaust survivor, the judge presiding over the case granted him regular family visits. Commenting on the latest attack, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said, "The terrorist nature of this attack isn't in doubt. The anti-terrorist section of the public prosecutor's office of Paris is involved in the incident, which is ongoing."
At around 9.45 am, Belloubet said the inmate's wife "feigned illness", forcing two prison officers to enter a room in the family unit. As soon as they arrived, Chiolo took out his knife and wounded one of the officers in the chest, while the other was attacked in the back and face. Fortunately, neither of them is currently in a life-threatening condition after successful treatment.
Speaking to AFP, prison staff representative Alassanne Sall, from the Force Ouvriere trade union, said, "It was truly a murder attempt. There was blood everywhere. The family-visiting unit was a battle scene."
According to authorities, it was Chiolo's wife who was able to smuggle the ceramic knife into the prison as she was pregnant and thereby wasn't searched as rigorously as other visitors. Furthermore, there were also fears that her husband may have had access to explosives.
The couple remained in the family unit after the attack, until anti-terrorist police stormed into their locked room at around 6 pm. "There were explosions and gunshots, and then the husband was wounded but arrested," said a prison source. "His wife died from gunfire wounds, however."
Chiolo is currently serving 30 years for armed robbery, kidnapping leading to a death, and condoning terrorism.
The attack by Michael Chiolo on prison guards in Conde-sur-Sarthe, Normandy is a reminder that imprisoned jihadists will pose a challenge to the authorities for decades to come: https://t.co/Th3MXlhtM7— Dr Paul Stott (@MrPaulStott) March 6, 2019