Possible Islamist attack at Eiffel Tower

Famous Paris site evacuated after Muslim man with psychiatric history brandishes knife during celebration.

Gary Willig ,

Police at the Eiffel Tower, Paris
Police at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

Celebrations at the Eiffel Tower over the signing up of a Brazilian soccer superstar were cut short after an armed man yelling "Allahu Akbar!" was subdued by police, The Sun reported.

The tower was lit in blue and red Saturday night to celebrate the signing on of international soccer star Neymar by the local Paris Saint-Germain team when the suspect attempted to force his way into a secure area while wielding a knife.

The suspect was recently released from a psychiatric ward. No personal details were provided except that he was born in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in west Africa in 1998, and that he is a French citizen.

Police say the suspect was arrested for “glorifying terrorism." However, the incident is being investigated by the regular police and not by counter-terrorism forces due to the suspect's psychiatric history.

Following the arrest, police evacuated the Eiffel Tower at 11:15 p.m. local time, nearly an hour before the normal closing time.

France has remained under a state of emergency ever since the November 2015 Paris attacks by Islamists which left 130 people dead.