Police have shot a man who sparked a terror alert near Spain’s border with France when he shouted the Islamist war cry, “Allahu Akbar” at a motorway checkpoint.
The man, thought to be a Frenchman of North African origin, was fired at after he began shouting the Arabic phrase, which means “Allah is greater [than your God]”, when his vehicle was pulled over around midnight on Saturday near La Jonquera.
He was hit in the leg and transferred to a local hospital where he remains in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in serious but stable condition, El Pais reports.
Juan Ignacio Zoido, a former judge and the minister of the interior and deputy for Seville, tweeted:
“Joint action of [the Guardia Civil], [Spain’s National Police Corps], and [Catalonia’s Mossos d’Esquadra police force] on the border crossing of La Junquera.
“Slightly wounded a man who resisted the registration of the vehicle with threatening attitude and shouting ‘Allah is great’.”
Reports claim the police officers told him to get out of his car after searching a female woman driver. Things escalated when they spotted a “suspicious object” by his waist.
Officers struggled to identify the object in the dark as he approached them shouting. They shot into the air but he did not heed the warning.
After shouting the Islamist battle cry, he was shot twice and left immobilised on the floor. He then reportedly made it back to his car and began throwing clothes out of the window.
Reinforcements and an ambulance arrived shortly after and he was finally apprehended.
Sources close to the inquiry said they do not believe it is a terrorist incident and thought the unidentified man may have been acting under the influence of drugs.
The injured man, who has been arrested, is expected to be quizzed by police when he is well enough.