Police arrested a 32-year-old man in the Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis after a failed attempt to attack party-goers while he was armed with a blade and a semi-automatic rifle.
The attempted attack took place at around 7 am on Sunday in the commune of Blanc-Mesnil as several people were leaving a party.
The witnesses say the man yelled “Allah hu Akbar!” and came at them with a knife and rifle. But he was quickly hit by a man driving a car, who is said to have acted out of instinct to stop the armed attacker, Le Parisien reports.
“We thought we were going to die. If we hadn’t intervened ourselves, we don’t know what could have happened,” one of the witnesses told the newspaper. The man had already been seen, dressed in camouflage, in the area twice before. He had also threatened a party guest with a sabre at around 6 am.
'Allahu Akbar' Migrant Knifeman Kills Two, Wounds Seven in France https://t.co/mneOSdHrxh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 4, 2020
“He certainly shouted Allah hu Akbar, but has no disturbing judicial record, and nothing else has been found yet that could suggest radicalisation,” the prosecutor of Bobigny said. Investigators also noted that the man had a high blood-alcohol level.
“But the situation was no less dangerous, as he had a cartridge chambered in the semi-automatic rifle,” the source said. Investigators say they are working with both the intelligence services and psychiatric doctors to assess the possible motivation for the attempted attack.
The incident comes just over a week after another man in the commune of Le Crosic robbed an 85-year-old man, assaulted him, and defecated on him. Later while being arrested by police, he threatened to kill officers and yelled “Allah hu Akbar”.
The Arabic phrase has also been heard before many radical Islamic terror attacks in France, such as in April when a Sudanese migrant stabbed two people to death and injured many others outside a bakery in Romans-sur-Isère.