Reports in French media say that a 25-year-old terror suspect killed two police employees outside Paris on Monday night and broadcast the attack on Facebook Live.
The suspect, identified as Larossi Abballa, stabbed 42-year-old police commander Jean-Baptiste Salvaing to death in front of his home on Monday evening, then went on to take both Salvaing's partner and 3-year-old son hostage. Officials were able to to save the son, but ultimately found the mother, also a police employee, dead. Abballa was killed when authorities stormed the home.
According to additional reporting on Twitter from Paris-based journalist David Thomson, Abballa was broadcasting on Facebook Live from inside the home during the attack. In the 13-minute video, Abballa reportedly had sworn allegiance to ISIS, displayed images of the two victims, and questioned whether he should kill the son as well.
Facebook Live, which is similar to Twitter's Periscope, lets people broadcast a video feed from their phones directly to their Facebook pages. The advent of such live-streaming services over the last year has brought even greater immediacy to an online world already brimming with shared photos and video posts.
Even before that, social media sites had become valuable resources for terrorist groups to spread their messages and to communicate with like-minded individuals, in ways that have proven a challenge for governments to monitor and defeat. The tech sector's internet giants have been working to tamp down the use of those venues to spread hate speech and terrorist propaganda.
Paris has been hit hard by terrorist activity tied to or inspired by ISIS, the radical group that controls parts of Iraq and Syria, or other Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda. In November, gunmen killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks across the city. In January 2015, an attack on the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo left 11 dead.
Monday's attack in Paris came little more than a day after a massacre at an Orlando nightclub in which 49 people were killed by a lone shooter who had professed allegiance to ISIS.