Paris knife attacker ‘born in Chechnya’

Paris knife attacker ‘born in Chechnya’

Paris knife attacker ‘born in Chechnya’

The assailant who killed a 29-year-old man in a central Paris knife attack on May 12 night was a French citizen born in the Chechnya region of Russia in 1997, judicial sources said on May 13.

The unnamed attacker shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he killed a passer-by and wounded four other people in the busy Opera district of central Paris at around 9:30 p.m., before being shot dead by police, witnesses and the Paris prosecutor said.

The 21-year-old’s father and mother are being held for questioning by police, a judicial source said.

The assailant was categorized in France as “fiche S,” an indication used by law enforcement officials to flag people who may be a threat to national security, said another source close to the investigation.

Earlier, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters the injured were out of danger.

“I have seen the person who was seriously injured. She is recovering. She was operated on and saved,” he said after visiting the victims
in hospital.

France has been on high alert amid a series of attacks commissioned or inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that have killed more than 240 people since 2015.

France “will not yield an inch to the enemies of freedom,” President Emmanuel Macron said shortly after the attack, praising police officers for “neutralizing the terrorist.”

Police union representative Rocco Contento told Reuters that the assailant, after attacking bystanders with a knife, rushed at police shouting “I will kill you, I will kill you!”

He was then shot by the officers. The attack took place in the heart of the French capital, in a district popular with tourists for its many restaurants and cafes, landmark retail stores, and the Paris opera.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, but provided no proof for its claim.