Home » Radicalized twenty-something who stabbed tourists in Paris had pledged allegiance to IS, mother alerted police in October

Radicalized twenty-something who stabbed tourists in Paris had pledged allegiance to IS, mother alerted police in October

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The man randomly attacked people with a knife near the Eiffel Tower in the fifteenth arrondissement of Paris on Saturday evening around 9 p.m. First, a young man was hit in the back and shoulder and succumbed to his injuries. His girlfriend was saved by a taxi driver who saw the events happening and intervened. Moments later, the man again attacked passers-by, on the other side of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. He lashed out at a 66-year-old Briton with a hammer, and later also attacked a French man in his sixties.

At that moment, the perpetrator was already being chased by the police, who later overpowered him with a taser and subsequently arrested him. “The officers have just bravely arrested an attacker who was targeting passers-by in Paris, near the Quai de Grenelle,” French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.

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Victims

The fatal victim is a young German of Philippine origin. His girlfriend is “extremely shocked,” Darmanin said. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences on Sunday morning to the family and friends of the fatal victim. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had previously made it clear that the French “will not give in to terrorism. Never.”

The British tourist suffered a wound to the eye, the French tourist in his sixties was reportedly mainly in shock. They are now both said to be “in good health again”, according to Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau. “They suffered superficial injuries, but of course also psychological trauma that will be immense. As did the people who accompanied the victim who unfortunately died of a stab wound.”

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Motivation

The attacker – 26-year-old Armand R.-M. – was born in France in 1997 to Iranian parents, according to Darmanin, and has French nationality. According to a police source, he shouted “Allah akbar” during his arrest. The man is said to have stated after the attack that he could not tolerate the murder of Muslims in both Afghanistan and Palestine, and that he believes France is “complicit in what Israel” is doing there.

At the same time as the facts, a claiming video was posted on social media by the attacker. In that video, the man talks about “current events, the government, and the murder of innocent Muslims,” according to a security source. In the video, which the man recorded before his attack, he pledged allegiance to Islamic State. “He spoke in Arabic and gave his support to jihadists active in different areas,” prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said at a news conference. “The video was posted to his account on

According to French media, the man was also in contact via social media with the murderer of French history teacher Samuel Paty, who was killed by an Islamist terrorist in October 2020. He is also said to have been in contact with the killers of two French police officers in 2016, and the killer of a Catholic priest that same year. In October, his mother told police she was concerned about her son. However, according to Ricard, that was no reason to take action at the time.

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Armand R.-M. distributed a requisition video just before his attack. — © rr

Known by law

R.-M. was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 because he had plans to commit an attack in the Parisian office district of La Défense. He was therefore also on a terror list of the French security services. “He served his sentence (the man was released after four years, ed.), and was monitored because he had serious psychiatric problems,” said Darmanin. “He was treated psychiatrically and neurologically.” The man is said to have moved back in with his parents after his prison sentence.

The source in the security services describes the man as “very unstable, very impressionable”. “Was he medically monitored as he should have been, and as was the case for some time? That is a question that will be asked,” he said.

The French anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for murder, attempted murder in the context of terrorism, and criminal terrorist conspiracy.

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