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Knife attack in Paris: the assailant faces investigations ;teurs

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Police officers near the scene of a knife attack in Paris, December 2, 2023

Agence France-Presse

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The radical Islamist, who sowed fear near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday evening in Paris, must now explain himself to investigators after killing a young tourist and injuring two other people, in a knife and then hammer attack.

The assailant, Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a 26-year-old Frenchman whose parents are Iranian, was arrested shortly after the incident and placed in police custody.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard will hold a press conference on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. local time, according to the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) responsible for the investigation.

A security meeting was also to be held in the afternoon around Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, who said: We will not give in to terrorism.

The events took place on Saturday around 9 p.m. in this highly touristic place in the capital, near the Bir Hakeim bridge spanning the Seine.

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The assailant first stabbed a 23-year-old tourist, of nationality German and Filipino. He then attacked two other men with a hammer, whom he slightly injured: a 60-year-old Frenchman and a 66-year-old British man, according to the PNAT.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser denounced an abominable crime on Sunday.

At the foot of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the day on Sunday, tourists strolled quietly: some had not heard of the attack, but all those interviewed by AFP said they were not worried about their security.

The assailant was arrested by the police shortly after the attack.

A video without sound posted on social networks shows police officers holding at gunpoint a man, dressed in black and with his face partially hidden, who steps back to get away from them in the street, while brandishing a hammer in their direction.

According to the mayor of the 15th arrondissement, Philippe Goujon, the assailant told the police who came to arrest him that x27;he had an explosive belt, which was not the case.

Known to the justice services for radical Islamism and psychiatric disorders, he shouted Allah Akbar at the time of the events, according to a police source.

He told the police officers who arrested him that he could no longer bear to see Muslims die, both in Afghanistan and in Palestine, and also said he blamed him, without specifying who , for what was happening in Gaza and that France would be complicit in what Israel was doing there, according to the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

The investigators will look into the medical follow-up of the author, a man with a very unstable profile, very easily influenced, according to a security source at AFP. Was he being medically monitored as he should have been and as he was for a time, this is a question that will arise, said a police source to the #x27;AFP.

Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau clarified on Sunday that he was undergoing psychiatric monitoring, without hospitalization.< /p>

Around 5,200 people are known for radicalization in France, including 1,600 people who are particularly monitored by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), according to an intelligence source, who specifies that 20% of these 5,000 people have psychiatric disorders.

The assailant had already been arrested in 2016 by the DGSI for a planned violent action in the business district of La Défense, on the western outskirts of Paris. He was sentenced to five years of imprisonment, one of which was suspended, and was released after four years of detention.

The attacker, who lived with his parents in the Paris suburbs according to Gérald Darmanin, published a video on social networks claiming responsibility for his attack, confirmed to AFP from police and security sources.

He discusses current events, the government, the murder of innocent Muslims, detailed the security source. At this stage, investigators do not know when this video was filmed, but it was published online concurrently with the act, according to this source.

The attack comes less than two months after that in Arras, in the north of France, which cost the life of a teacher in mid-October and led to the increase in the security plan Vigipirate at maximum emergency level attack, just over seven months before the Paris Olympic Games.

In May 2018, a Franco-Russian born in Chechnya had killed a passerby with a kitchen knife after a fierce struggle and injured four, before being shot dead by the police. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

In February 2017, an Egyptian attacked soldiers with a machete while near the Louvre Museum in Paris, shouting Allah Akbar. He was sentenced in June 2021 in Paris to 30 years in prison.

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