Man With Two Pistols and Islamic Holy Books Arrested at French Train Station

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Police arrested a 21-year-old man at a train station in Toulouse, France, on Friday who was armed with two pistols and carrying the Quran, a prayer mat, and other Islamic texts, it has been revealed.

Railway police flagged the man at the Matabiau train station due to his strange behaviour. Officers demanded his papers and searched him, finding the two loaded pistols and several Islamic religious objects.

According to a report from Le Depeche on Monday, the 21-year-old was about to board a train heading to Lyon.

The newspaper adds that investigators have found no signs of Islamic radicalisation and so far a terrorism motive is not being considered.

Public prosecutor Dominique Alzéari said that the man is originally from Mayotte, a French-governed island that lies between the continent of Africa and the island of Madagascar.

Alzéari added that the man had been homeless in France and was living a nomadic lifestyle, travelling the country and had been recently questioned by police in the Izards district, north of Toulouse.

According to La Depeche, the Izards district has been plagued by gun violence in recent months, with a September report indicating that many residents were frustrated with the violence and lived in fear of gun crime.

The arrest of the 21-year-old comes as France has seen a number of recent terrorist attacks, including the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty and the killing of three people at a church in Nice.

Since the murder of Paty, who was killed for showing cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed to his class, there has been a surge of threats against teachers and other public officials.

Last week in the commune of Bollène, officers arrested a 20-year-old after trying to attack police while armed with a pair of knives. It was later revealed that the man, who yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the assault, had previously attended a deradicalisation programme.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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