Who is 'The Fly'? The French Prisoner Who Escaped in Van Ambush

After an attack on a prison van this morning that resulted in the deaths of two guards, a dangerous prisoner known as "The Fly" is now at large.

Four armed men ambushed a prison convoy at 11 a.m. during the attack. At a toll booth close to Val-de-Reuil, Normandy, France, masked assailants armed with machine guns stopped a van transporting prisoners.

Hundreds of police officers have been sent across the country in an attempt to locate the gunmen and 30-year-old prisoner. How many attackers were involved is unknown.

Amra's escape and violent history have made him a symbol of the challenges faced by French law enforcement in combating organised crime and ensuring the security of high-risk prisoners.

The national search for "The Fly" continues as authorities remain determined to bring him back into custody, and the assailants to justice.

In observance of their murdered coworkers, thousands of French prison employees on Wednesday also participated in a symbolic 24-hour jail shutdown.

President Emmanuel Macron of France promised a "uncompromising" response once the attackers were apprehended in response to the deadly attack, which stunned the country.

Video - Mohamed Amra, nicknamed "La Mouche", or "The Fly", is a 30-year-old drug dealer from northern France:

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, tweeted this afternoon: "This morning's attack, which cost the lives of prison officers, is a shock to us all. The Nation stands alongside the families, the injured and their colleagues. Everything is being done to find the perpetrators of this crime so that justice can be done in the name of the French people. We will be intractable."

"The Fly": Real Name, Early Life and Criminal History

The 30-year-old Mohamed Amra's violent and protracted criminal past has led to a public search.

Amra, also known as "La Mouche" (The Fly), has gone by several aliases, including "Yanis," "Momo," and "Schtroumpf" (Smurf).

These monikers, according to French media, are a reflection of his enigmatic personality and wide-ranging activities.

On March 10, 1994, Amra was born in the Seine River port city of Rouen.

Amra, who was born in Rouen, in northern France, was also reassessed and placed in the "Escort 3" risk category, requiring additional guards to be present during her transfer.

His colorful adolescence was characterized by early run-ins with the law.

The Paris public prosecutor stated that his first offenses involved violence, theft, and extortion and happened between the ages of 11 and 14. He was raised in a difficult environment in Normandy and soon fell victim to a life of crime.

Amra had gained notoriety among the local law enforcement by the age of fifteen.

He was recently found guilty of burglary by the Evreux judicial tribunal on May 10, and he is also being investigated for a fatal kidnapping and an attempted organized murder in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Amra was suspected of being the leader of a drug trafficking network and had strong ties to Marseille's organized crime syndicates, according to public prosecutor Laure Beccuau of Paris.

Who is Mohamed Amra: French Prisoner's Personal Life, Criminal History
"La Mouche" (The Fly)

After being sentenced for burglary, he was recently placed under arrest at the Val de Reuil prison facility, which is located close to Rouen. He had previously served time in prison at Les Baumettes in Marseille and La Sante prison in Paris.

He wasn't categorized as a prisoner with the highest level of risk, but during his transfers, he did need high security, requiring an escort of three guards—that number was recently raised to five, according to officials.

Amra was placed in isolation a few days prior to his escape because he tried to cut through the bars of his cell, according to officials.

French media reported that guards had discovered he was hiding his activities with tape.

Amra has a long criminal history that includes organized crime, drug trafficking, extortion, and armed violence. It reads like a scary novel.

Mother of The Fly

Who is 'The Fly': Personal Life, Criminal History of The French Prisoner
France’s ‘The Fly’ and his deadly prison van escape

According to RTL, Amra's mother was unaware that her son had prepared an escape.

"I visited Baumettes to visit him; he was detained in isolation. I had previously visited Evreux Prison. He didn't show me anything, and he spoke normally. I'm not sure I get it," she remarked.

"They carry him around from right to left, they put him in solitary confinement instead of judging him once and for all."

When she realized what had happened, she claimed to have "broken down" and "cried".

It sickens me. How are lives taken in such a way?" Speaking of the two dead, she said.

"He's not talking to me, so I have no idea what's going through his mind. "He doesn't talk to me about anything, even though he's my son," she continued.

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