Indiscriminate stabbings occur near the Eiffel Tower, shouting “God is great”

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View largerThe suspected suspect revealed by a French journalist. Photo courtesy of Wasim Nasr

On the 2nd (local time), a man attacked passersby with a knife and a weapon near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, France, killing one German tourist and injuring at least two others. The suspect, a French national in his 20s, is known to have shouted “Allahu Akbar (God is great)” right before his arrest.

According to foreign media outlets such as Reuters, the suspect killed a German tourist who was with his wife on the banks of the Seine River near the Birhachem Bridge at around 9 p.m. by stabbing him in the back and shoulder with a weapon. The suspect fled when the police arrived and assaulted a British tourist and a French man in his 60s with a hammer. Police fired a Taser at a suspect who was violently resisting in a nearby square, subdued him, and arrested him.

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After his arrest, the suspect reportedly told police that he was “angry about the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip, and that France is collaborating with Israel’s actions.” Authorities said the suspect was a 26-year-old man living outside Paris who suffered from serious mental illness. He was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison for planning violent acts. Because of this, he was placed on the French intelligence agency’s watch list. According to French journalist Wassim Nasr, before committing the crime, the man recorded a two-minute video saying, “I am a supporter of the Islamic State (IS)” and “I am acting to take revenge on Muslims.”

The New York Times (NYT) reported that this incident is increasing anxiety over terrorism by Islamic extremists. Last month, a 20-year-old man suspected of being an Islamic extremist stabbed a teacher to death at Gambetta High School in northern France. France raised its safety alert level to the highest level following the Gambetta incident. The incident, which occurred just seven months before the 2024 Paris Olympics, is also raising concerns about public safety.

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French President Emmanuel Macron defined the incident as a “terrorist attack” on social media Prime Minister Elisabeth Born also wrote to X after the attack: “We will not give in to terrorism.”

Source: Donga

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