A Moroccan man was arrested by French police over the weekend while carrying the head of his deceased father, who he is believed to have decapitated with a kitchen knife.
The arrest took place on Sunday morning shortly after 2 am when police received calls of a man armed with a knife chasing another man along Louis-Braille street in Saint-Priest, a suburb outside of the city of Lyon.
After arriving at the scene, police discovered the decapitated body of a 60-year-old man in a car park with a kitchen knife next to his body. Soon after the discovery, police received calls of a man walking down the street holding a decapitated head, the newspaper Le Progres reports.
Officers of the Anti-Crime Brigade (BAC) located the man a short distance from where the victim’s body was discovered but the man refused to surrender himself to police, trying to assault officers and yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
The arrested man, aged 25, is said to be the son of the victim and is a Moroccan national living in France legally. He and his father are believed to have lived in the same home in the Lyon suburb.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Lyon stated they are investigating the incident to determine the circumstances of the beheading attack and sources have said that the 25-year-old was known to police for narcotics, and family disputes while intoxicated but had no history of Islamic radicalisation.
The Mayor of Saint-Priest, Gilles Gascon said: “I am terribly shocked by this abominable intra-family drama that took place in our city. In which society do we live? How can such acts be achieved?”
Beheadings have been associated with Islamist terror in the past, such as the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by a Chechen refugee in October of 2020 after showing cartoons featuring the Islamic Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of expression and blasphemy.
The incident is also just the latest attack in France to involve an alleged perpetrator shouting the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is Greatest” or alternatively “[Our god] is greater” from the original Arabic.
Last month, an Afghan migrant was arrested in Bordeaux while trying to stab several people on the street while also yelling the phrase and just months before in May another illegal immigrant attacked and injured five police officers in Tarn outside of a local mosque while also yelling “Allahu akbar”.