(Paris) The radical Islamist who killed a young German-Filipino tourist and injured two other people near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday evening pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group in a video before his visit to the act, the anti-terrorism prosecutor said on Sunday.
Speaking in Arabic in this video, Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a 26-year-old Franco-Iranian, provided “his support to the jihadists acting in different areas,” declared Jean-François Ricard at a press conference. “This video was notably posted online on his X account”, opened at the beginning of October and which included “numerous publications on Hamas, Gaza and more generally Palestine”, according to the magistrate.
The attacker’s mother had expressed her concern about her son’s behavior at the end of October, the anti-terrorism prosecutor said on Sunday.
She had told the authorities that she was worried about her son who was “withdrawing into himself”, Jean-François Ricard reported at a press conference. Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab was listed for Islamist radicalization after being sentenced to five years in prison for criminal conspiracy to prepare an act of terrorism, following a planned violent action in 2016 in the neighborhood business office of La Défense, in the west of Paris. He was released from prison in 2020 after four years of detention.
A security meeting was held at the end of the afternoon around Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, in the presence in particular of the Ministers of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, of Justice Éric Dupond-Moretti and of the Health Aurélien Rousseau.
Three “members of the entourage” of the attacker are currently in police custody, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) said on Sunday.
These are members of his family and one of his relatives, we learned from a source close to the case. Asked on this point, the PNAT did not confirm that these people were members of the attacker’s family.
The attack comes a few months before the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and less than two months after that of Arras (North) which cost the life of a teacher in mid-October and led to the Vigipirate plan being raised to the maximum “emergency attack” level. “.
The events took place on Saturday around 3 p.m. (Eastern time) in this highly touristy place in the capital, near the Bir Hakeim bridge spanning the Seine.
The stabbed tourist, 23, is of German and Filipino nationality. According to emergency doctor Patrick Pelloux, who was on duty, the man and his partner, who was severely shocked, but who did not suffer any bodily injuries, were both nurses.
The assailant then attacked two men with a hammer. According to the PNAT, the people, slightly injured, are a 60-year-old Frenchman and a 66-year-old British man, struck in the eye.
The German Interior Minister denounced on Sunday an “abominable crime”. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the person killed, as well as others injured by this horrific act,” Nancy Faeser said in an interview with Funke media group.
At the foot of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the day on Sunday, tourists strolled quietly: some had not heard of the attack, but all those interviewed by AFP assured that they were not worried about their safety.
The assailant, Armand 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-terrorist section of the criminal brigade of Paris.
A video without sound posted on social networks shows police officers holding at gunpoint a man, dressed in black and his face partially hidden, who steps back to get away from them in the street, while brandishing a hammer in their direction.
Known to the justice services for radical Islamism and psychiatric disorders, he shouted “Allah akbar” at the time of the events, according to a police source.
He reportedly told the police officers who arrested him that he “could no longer bear to see Muslims die, both in Afghanistan and in Palestine.” He would also have declared that he “resented”, without specifying who, for “what was happening in Gaza” and that France would be “complicit in what Israel was doing” there, said Gérald Darmanin during a press briefing at the scene of the attack.
Investigators will now look into the medical follow-up of the author, a man with a “very unstable profile, very easily influenced”, according to a security source interviewed by AFP.
He was being monitored for significant psychiatric disorders. As of March 2022, he stopped his drug treatment in agreement with his doctor, according to a source close to the investigation.
Despite an injunction for treatment from a judge in 2022, the doctors did not consider it necessary to resume treatment and did not identify any psychiatric danger under the terms of the last report of April 21, 2023, it is specified. from the same source.
Around 5,200 people are known for radicalization in France, of which 1,600 people are particularly monitored by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), according to an intelligence source, who specifies that 20% of these 5,000 people have psychiatric disorders.
The assailant published a video on social networks claiming responsibility for his attack, police and security sources confirmed to AFP.
In the video, he mentions “the news, the government, the murder of innocent Muslims”, detailed the security source. At this point, investigators don’t know when it was filmed. It was published online “almost concurrently” with the act, according to this source.
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