PHOTO: Investigations are underway after a violent attack at Orly Airport, France's second-busiest airport. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Update: 7:30 EST
The attacker, who has been named as Ziyed Ben Belgacem by French police, apparently used his weapon a second time, earlier in the day. After injuring a police officer at a traffic stop, the attacker also pointed the weapon at patrons at a bar in the Vitry-sur-Seine neighborhood. Although he shot the weapon, no one was hit or injured during that incident.
Various news sources are also reporting the attacker shouted that he wanted to "die for Allah" before trying to grab ahold of a weapon from an Orly-stationed special forces soldier. According to Newsweek, the attacker shouted at the soldiers "Put down your guns. Put your hands on your head. I am here to die for Allah. In any case, there will be deaths."
Prosecutors also say that although he was not listed in a database the French government keeps of potential threats, the man has been a person of interest. His home was among the many searched in November 2015, after a suicide bomber killed 150 people in Paris.
Additionally, his radicalized behavior.was "noticed" when he was arrested and spent time in jail for drug charges several years ago.
Update: 1:45 p.m. EST
Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor’s office, told CNN that the attacker has long been on the police radar and as been “known to police” for nine counts of armed robbery and drug trafficking. Further, said Thibault-Lecuivre, the anti-terror unit has opened an investigation into the situation.
Via a tweet, the Interior Ministry confirmed, “There is ‘possibly’ a terrorist motivation for this act.”
France’s president, François Hollande said the incident confirmed that the extra security forces assigned to airports, train stations and other sensitive sites in France are "absolutely essential" to keep people safe.
"I want to salute the courage and the exceptional behavior of the security forces who managed to put away the individual and to do so in an extremely complex situation because this occurred in Orly Airport," said Hollande at a news conference.
The airport operations have slowly returned to normal, but airport officials are encouraging passengers to confirm flight details with their airlines.
France's terror alert remains at the highest levels.
French security forces were forced to open fire at Paris’ Orly Airport at 8:30 a.m. local time, killing a man and thwarting a potential terrorist attack, according to French law enforcement.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (via CNN) said that the man tackled a female special forces officer stationed at the airport and attempted to wrest her gun away from her before two of the women’s fellow soldiers opened fire and stopped the attack. The officer was unharmed due to the quick response of the others.
Just hours before that attack, the same man had been involved in a previous officer shooting at a traffic stop where he discharged birdshot at police officers and wounded one in the face.
Investigations are ongoing and the no bystanders were injured in the attack. According to the AP, the Paris’ prosecutors office has given jurisdiction of the attack to its anti-terrorism department.
Although little is known at the time, the man (who has not yet been identified) was known to law enforcement personnel but was not on the "S-list"—which would have been an indication he was considered a threat to national security.
Travelers are encouraged to avoid the airport at this time, as all air traffic has been suspended and many flights headed for Orly have been rerouted to Charles De Gaulle Airport.
TravelPulse will update this story throughout the day.