French police outside the Hyper Cacher store
French police outside the Hyper Cacher storeReuters

Police in Paris on Monday arrested a 38-year-old man who tried to set fire to an Israeli flag that was placed at the entrance to the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, where Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibali murdered four Jews last month.

According to local police, the man was stopped and detained before he could carry out his plan to burn the flag. He is reportedly known to police for previous offenses of “willful destruction” and it is believed the incident is of a criminal background.

The attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket followed the killing of 12 people at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo just two days earlier. Coulibali was also behind the killing of a policewoman the day before the attack on the kosher supermarket.

Monday’s incident comes less than a week after a knife-wielding man attacked three soldiers patrolling outside a Jewish community center on the French Riviera.

Two of the troops received knife wounds in the attack and a third managed to wrestle the assailant to the ground.

The attacker, 30-year-old Moussa Coulibaly (who is not believed to be related to the Hyper Cacher attacker), was arrested immediately after the attack. He told investigators of his hatred of France, Jews, the police and the military.

The knife attack raised fresh security concerns in France, where authorities continue to crack down on potential terrorists. On Sunday, French police detained six people suspected of recruiting potential jihadists, just days after another operation saw five charged on similar grounds.