Paris stabbing: Knife attack that left one dead treated as terror related

Chiara Giordano
Police officers patrol in a park near Villejuif on 3 January, 2020 where a man was shot and killed by officers after stabbing passers-by: AFP via Getty Images
Police officers patrol in a park near Villejuif on 3 January, 2020 where a man was shot and killed by officers after stabbing passers-by: AFP via Getty Images

A knife attack near Paris which left one man dead and two women seriously injured is being treated as terror related.

French prosecutors have said investigations revealed the attacker, who was shot dead by police, had been radicalised and had prepared the attack in Villejuif, in the southern suburbs of France’s capital.

They said their investigations now justify a probe into “murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist undertaking”.

Creteil prosecutor Laure Beccuau described the attacker as a 22-year-old man with a long and serious psychiatric history.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, Ms Beccuau said he had converted to Islam between May and July 2019 and had he shouted “Allahu akbar”, meaning “God is great” in Arabic, several times during the attack.

She added that investigators are also looking into the attacker’s phone calls and computer equipment. No accomplice has been identified.

Philippe Bugeaud, deputy director of the judicial police, said a letter – details of which were not revealed – and several books about Islam were found in his bag, including some about Salafism, widely considered to be a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Two women injured in the attack have since been discharged from hospital.

The incident took place near to the Hautes-Bruyères State Park, according to the Prefecture de Police.

Videos circulated on social media showed armed police shooting the attacker in a Carrefour supermarket car park.

In the past four years, the French capital has been rocked by major attacks resulting in mass casualties.

In October last year, four people were stabbed to death at the Paris police headquarters by Mickael Harpon, an IT specialist working for the police.

Prosecutors said Harpon, who was shot dead by police, had come under the sway of radical Islamists.

Coordinated bombings and shootings by Islamist militants at the Bataclan theatre and other locations around Paris killed 130 people in November 2015.

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