PARIS: The gruesome “selfie” taken by a man who has confessed to beheading his boss during an attack on a gas factory in France was sent to Syria, sources close to the investigation said Sunday.
The news emerged as Yassin Salhi, 35, was being transferred from France’s second city of Lyon to Paris for questioning by specialised anti-terrorist police.
Salhi confessed to the grisly crime earlier Sunday and has also given “details about the circumstances” surrounding the killing, according to sources close to the investigation.
He left the police headquarters in Lyon in a van escorted by nine unmarked cars en route to the capital.
The convoy stopped briefly at Salhi’s house to pick up his passport, where several masked officers bundled him into his apartment, covering his face with a white cloth and fitting him with a bulletproof vest.
Investigators discovered Saturday that the married father-of-three had sent a photo of himself and the severed head via the WhatsApp messaging service to a number in Canada.
But officials warned the Canadian number might be a relay number and the intended recipient could be anywhere in the world.
Hundreds of French citizens have left for Iraq or Syria to wage jihad and Prime Minister Manuel Valls said earlier Sunday that 1,800 people in France were “linked” in some way to the Islamist cause.
After several hours of silence, Salhi began to open up to investigators about the assault, which came six months after 17 were killed in Islamist attacks in Paris that began with the massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Authorities can hold him without charge for 96 hours.