The deadly attack occurred in the 15th arrondissement of the French capital, with the attacker using a knife to kill the German tourist, who has not been identified.
An apparent radical Islamist who killed a young German-Filipino tourist on Saturday evening and injured two other people near the Eiffel Tower in Paris remains in police custody, with psychiatric follow-up expected.
According to a source close to the investigation, the accused, Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, was sentenced to five years in prison for criminal conspiracy to prepare an act of terrorism, after a violent action planned at Defense in 2016. He was released. from prison in 2020 after four years of detention.
At a news conference on Sunday, France’s national counterterrorism prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard, said the suspect had pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group in a pre-recorded video.
“A previous judicial investigation showed that he came from a family with no religious commitment and that he converted to Islam at the age of 18 in 2015, quickly adhering to the extremist Islamist ideology. »
Three “members of the entourage” of the attacker are currently in police custody, the national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said on Sunday.
The events took place on Saturday around 9 p.m., local town, in a very touristy place in the capital, near the Bir Hakeim bridge which spans the Seine.
The stabbed tourist was of German and Filipino nationality. According to emergency doctor Patrick Pelloux, on duty, the man and his partner, seriously shocked but having suffered no bodily harm, were both nurses.
The attacker then attacked two men with a hammer. It turned out to be a 60-year-old Frenchman and a 66-year-old British man.
On Sunday, Germany’s interior minister denounced the attack as a “heinous crime.”
Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a 26-year-old Franco-Iranian, was arrested by the police shortly after the attack and placed in police custody in the premises of the anti-terrorism section.
A video without sound posted on social media shows police officers holding a man, dressed in black and his face partially hidden, at gunpoint, who backs away from them in the street while brandishing a hammer in their direction.
According to the mayor of the 15th arrondissement Philippe Goujon to AFP, the attacker told the police officers who approached to arrest him that he was in possession of an explosive belt, which was not the case. .
Known to the courts for radical Islamism and psychiatric disorders, he had shouted “Allah Akbar” – or “God is great” at the time of the events, according to a police source.
He reportedly told the police who arrested him that he “could no longer bear to see Muslims die, both in Afghanistan and in Palestine.”
He also accused France of being “complicit in what Israel was doing” in the Middle East.
The attacker published a video on social networks claiming responsibility for his attack, police and security sources confirmed to AFP.
France has been under heightened terrorist alert since the assassination in October of a teacher in Arras, in the north of the country, by a former student from the region of Ingushetia, in the Russian Caucasus mountains, and suspected of Islamist radicalization. This deadly attack comes three years after another teacher was killed near Paris, beheaded by a radicalized Chechen, then killed by police.
Saturday’s attack raised the level of fear in the French capital, still scarred by the 2015 attacks against cafes and a music hall perpetrated by radical Islamists which left 130 dead.
“We will not give in to terrorism. Never,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on X, formerly Twitter, sending her condolences to the victims and their families.