French army units deployed to aid police after Chiolo stabs prison guards
French army units deployed to aid police after Chiolo stabs prison guardsREUTERS

A French jihadist who tortured a Jewish Holocaust survivor to death stabbed two prison guards after his wife smuggled in a knife Tuesday, leading to a standoff in a French maximum security prison after the couple barricaded themselves in a visitation room.

The terrorist, 27-year-old Michael Chiolo, converted to Islam, and has been described as a radical “jihadi”.

On Tuesday, Chiolo’s pregnant wife was allowed to meet privately with her husband for a conjugal visit in one of the family rooms at the Alencon-Conde-sur-Sarthe prison, in Normandy.

After his wife smuggled a ceramic knife into the prison and feigned an illness, Chiolo called prison officials, notifying them that his wife was not feeling well.

When two prison officials entered the family room at approximately 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, Chiolo stabbed them, wounding one in the chest, the other in the face and back. During the attack, Chiolo shouted “Allahu Akbar”.

The couple then barricaded themselves in the family visitation area, leading to an hours-long standoff with police.

French anti-terrorist RAID teams and even army units were deployed to the Alencon-Conde-sur-Sarthe prison, and at around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, counter-terror forces stormed the family visitation area where Chiolo and his wife were holed up.

Counter-terror units opened fire on the couple as they broke through the door, seriously wounding Chiolo and killing his wife.

“There were explosions, and gun shots, and then the husband was wounded but arrested,” a prison official said, according to The Daily Mail. “His wife died from gunfire wounds.”

The French government described the stabbing Tuesday as a terrorist attack.

“The terrorist nature of this attack isn’t in doubt,” said France’s justice minister, Nicole Belloubet.

“The anti-terrorist section of the public prosecutor’s office in Paris is involved in the incident, which is ongoing.”

Chiolo had been serving a 28-year prison sentence for the brutal murder of a Holocaust survivor in eastern France.

In April 2012, Chiolo and two other men broke into the home of 89-year-old Roger Tarall. During the burglary, Tarall was held at gunpoint, tied up, tortured, and strangled to death.

Tarall had been deported to the Dachau concentration camp during World War II, but managed to survive.

Chiolo was apprehended in the murder, after he bragged to his girlfriend of torturing Tarall to death.