In a shocking incident on Saturday night, a German tourist was brutally stabbed to death by a radical Islamist known to French authorities for both extremist ideologies and mental health issues.
The assailant, born in 1997, targeted his victims near the iconic Eiffel Tower during a bustling weekend, leaving two others wounded before being apprehended.
This act of terror unfolded against the backdrop of heightened alert levels in France due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne affirmed, “We will not give in to terrorism,” in response to the tragic incident, echoed by President Emmanuel Macron, who extended condolences to the victim’s family.
French anti-terror prosecutors have taken charge of the investigation, revealing that the attacker had a history of radicalism and was undergoing treatment for mental illness.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin disclosed that the assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) before being arrested.
The assailant fatally stabbed a German tourist, born in 1999, and then wielded a hammer in an attempt to escape across the River Seine, injuring others in the process.
The area near Bir Hakeim bridge was swiftly cordoned off, with a significant police presence and emergency services on the scene.
The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed that the attacker, previously sentenced in 2016 for planning another attack, faces charges of murder and attempted murder. Darmanin praised a quick intervention by a taxi driver who witnessed the attack and subsequent police action, including the use of a taser to neutralize the suspect.
The suspect, a 26-year-old French national living with his parents south of Paris, expressed grievances about Muslims being killed in “Afghanistan and Palestine” to the police during his arrest.
As Paris mourns this horrific attack, Transport Minister Clement Beaune expressed condolences, and witnesses like Joseph S., a 37-year-old supermarket manager, recounted the chaotic scene with screams for help.
France, no stranger to Islamist extremist attacks, has experienced a relative lull in recent years, though officials have consistently warned of the persisting threat.
Tensions have escalated in the country following recent events in Israel and Gaza, with security measures under scrutiny as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
The memory of past tragedies, including the 2015 attacks in Paris, looms large as the nation confronts the aftermath of yet another act of terror.