- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SALE, Morocco (AP) - The latest on the Islamic extremist attack in southern France (all times local):

12:05 a.m.

The head of Morocco’s counterterrorism agency is concerned that France never alerted his country about the extremist behavior of the French-Moroccan gunman who carried out a deadly supermarket attack in southern France.

French authorities had monitored attacker Radouane Lakdim before the attack Friday, which killed four people. But the director of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “we were not notified” about Lakdim’s background.

Normally French authorities share information on radicalized dual nationals, and Abdelhak Khiame calls the absence of communication an apparent “misunderstanding.”

He says that since the attack, his agency has investigated Lakdim’s family members in Morocco but has found no signs of radicalism. He says Lakdim’s last visit to Morocco was in 2012 and didn’t raise any suspicions.

Khiame’s agency is considered like Morocco’s FBI and it has helped European authorities investigate terrorism suspects in the past.

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10:45 p.m.

The girlfriend of an attacker who killed four people and took hostages in a French supermarket has been given preliminary terrorism charges in the investigation.

A French judicial official says the woman, identified only as Marine P., is in custody pending a hearing on whether to release her during the investigation.

The official says she was given preliminary charges Tuesday of association with terrorist criminals planning to prepare attacks. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation and insisted on speaking anonymously.

Attacker Radouane Lakdim was killed by police after his rampage Friday. Authorities said he claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group.

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7 p.m.

French authorities say a 17-year-old male friend of an attacker who killed hostages in a supermarket in southern France last week has been released uncharged from custody.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said the youth was freed Tuesday “in the absence of incriminating elements at this stage.”

A witness told investigators the young man was a “very good friend” of 25-year-old gunman Radouane Lakdim and was under his religious influence.

The youth, who denied any involvement in the attacks during his questioning, had been in custody since hours after Lakdim killed four people in a rampage Friday before being killed by police who stormed the supermarket in Trebes.

After being questioned by police, Lakdim’s girlfriend was to face French investigating judges later Tuesday night. The prosecutor’s office has asked them to charge her with criminal terrorist association.

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4 p.m.

French lawmakers have paid tribute to the victims of an Islamic extremist attack at a supermarket in southern France.

Lawmakers at the National Assembly in Paris observed a minute of silence Tuesday for the four people who died in Friday’s attack.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said since January 2015, French intelligence services have thwarted 51 attacks. In addition, 17 other attacks have failed and 11 have taken place.

He says “this is a difficult combat we will have to fight, a terrible combat, a hand-to-hand struggle, in which we will have successes - we had some - and in which we might have failures.”

A national memorial is being held Wednesday in Paris to honor Lt-Col. Arnaud Beltrame, the officer who lost his life after swapping himself with a hostage.


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