Fatal stabbing near Eiffel Tower: German tourist killed, two others injured.
Perpetrator flagged as radical Islamist with mental health issues.
French prosecutors specializing in counter-terrorism take over the investigation.
On Saturday, in central Paris near the Eiffel Tower, a German tourist was fatally stabbed and two others were injured by an individual already flagged by French authorities as a radical Islamist grappling with mental health issues.
The assailant was subsequently apprehended. The attack unfolded during a bustling late weekend night, coinciding with France’s elevated state of alert against potential threats, heightened by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“We will not give in to terrorism,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote on X, formerly Twitter, after the attack.
French prosecutors specializing in counter-terrorism have announced their assumption of the investigation.
According to a police source informed by AFP, the assailant, recognized by authorities as a radical extremist, was undergoing treatment for mental illness.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has revealed that the assailant, born in 1997 and of French nationality, has been apprehended in connection with an investigation into charges of murder and attempted murder.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who visited the scene near the River Seine’s Bir Hakeim bridge, noted that the individual had previously received a four-year prison sentence in 2016 for plotting another attack, which ultimately went unrealized.
“A man attacked a couple who were foreign tourists. A German tourist who was born in the Philippines died from the stabbing,” he said.
A taxi driver who observed the incident took action, as mentioned by Darmanin. Subsequently, the assailant traversed the Seine, assaulting additional individuals and causing injury with a hammer, all while being pursued by the police. Law enforcement employed a taser to incapacitate the individual, leading to his subsequent arrest.
“He had threatened them very violently… he will now have to answer for his actions before justice,” Darmanin said.
The suspect told police he could not stand Muslims being killed in “Afghanistan and Palestine,” according to the minister.
Joseph S., a 37-year-old supermarket manager who preferred not to disclose his last name, observed the incident while seated in a bar.
He heard screams and people shouting “help, help” as they ran. A man wielding an object attacked a man who had fallen down, and within 10 minutes the police arrived, he told AFP.
France has faced numerous attacks from Islamist extremists, including the November 2015 suicide and gun assaults in Paris, attributed to the Daesh group,
resulting in the death of 130 people. While there has been a relative decrease in such incidents in recent years, officials continue to emphasize the persistent threat.
Tensions escalated in France, with a significant Jewish and Muslim population, following the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and Israel’s subsequent bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Paris, preparing to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, is facing heightened security scrutiny.
In October, a teacher named Dominique Bernard was killed in Arras, a northern French town, by a young radicalized Islamist from Russia’s Caucasus region.
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