Knife attack near Paris treated as terror-related

Investigators say man who stabbed one person to death and injured two others in Paris suburb was radicalized.

Ben Ariel ,

Scene of stabbing attack in Villejuif, south of Paris
Scene of stabbing attack in Villejuif, south of Paris

A knife attack on Friday that left one man dead and two women injured in a park in the Paris area is being treated as terror-related, French prosecutors said Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

The prosecutors said in a statement that investigations over the past few hours revealed that the assailant, who was shot dead by police, had been radicalized and had prepared the attack in Villejuif, in the southern suburbs of Paris.

They added their investigations now justify a probe into “murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist undertaking."

Earlier Saturday, Creteil prosecutor Laure Beccuau described the assailant as a 22-year-old man with a long and serious psychiatric history.

Speaking at a news conference, she said he had converted to Islam between May and July 2019 and that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times during the attack.

She added that investigators are also looking into the assailant's phone calls and computer equipment. No accomplice has been identified, according to AP.

Philippe Bugeaud, deputy director of the judicial police, said a letter and several books about Islam were found in the assailant's bag, including some about Salafism, a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in recent years, the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

More than 250 people have been killed in total in France since the start of 2015, when 12 people were murdered in an attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo attack.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attack, a man linked to ISIS shot and killed a policewoman in a Paris suburb before taking hostages at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket the following day, killing four more people.

More recently, a police employee who converted to Islam and became radicalized stabbed four colleagues to death.