Police Probe Background, Motivation of Paris Knife Attacker
France’s interior minister met with security officials Sunday as investigators probe the background and motivations of a young (20 or 21-year-old) man who attacked people on the streets of Paris Saturday night, killing one of them. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for this latest attack in the French capital.
French officials praised the fast reaction of police here, who arrived at the scene within minutes after the first call for help, and reportedly quickly shot dead the suspected assailant, after first trying to neutralize him with a Taser.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the suspect cried “Allahu Akbar” as he attacked people with a knife. He said investigators were probing the incident for suspected terrorist motivations.
Officials say the suspect killed one person and wounded four others. His parents were detained for questioning. Reports say the suspect was born in Chechnya in 1997 but later gained French nationality.
Shaky phone footage from France’s BFMTV shows people fleeing in the streets of the 2nd arrondissement of downtown Paris, a busy and popular neighborhood with bars and restaurants — very similar to the spots where terrorists struck in deadly November 2015 attacks.
One witness, Jonathan, described the events to French radio — of a man walking down the street, knife in hand, attacking people. He was searching for victims, Jonathan said.
The attack is the latest in a string of deadly strikes in France that have killed more than 230 people over the last three years. Earlier this year, a 25-year-old French Moroccan killed four people in southern France in a shooting spree. He claimed allegiance to Islamic State.