A suspected Islamist killed a German tourist with a knife and injured two other people in Paris not far from the Eiffel Tower. The police arrested the man on Saturday evening. He was already known to the police because of his radical Islamism and significant mental disorders, said France's Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. According to the broadcaster franceinfo, the French-born man with Iranian parents has already been in prison for four years for a planned attack on the La Defense business district in Paris in 2016.
The attacker attacked a "German tourist couple" on a bridge in the evening. The woman was not physically injured, but suffered shock, said Darmanin. The man was hit in the back and shoulder and suffered cardiac arrest, the newspaper Le Parisien reported, citing police. The attacker then fled and then attacked two other people before being arrested.
According to media reports, the victim was a 23-year-old who had both German and Filipino citizenship. The two injured people, who were possibly attacked with a hammer, are a 66-year-old British man and a 60-year-old Frenchman. They were said to be in good health again on Sunday afternoon.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wrote on X that her thoughts were with the friends and family of the killed young German. "Almost his whole life lay ahead of him." Baerbock wished the injured a speedy recovery.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to the relatives of the German national who died. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was dismayed at X and wrote: "Once again it becomes clear why we resolutely oppose hate and terror." The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office said it would look into the attack.
According to Darmanin, the alleged perpetrator said after his arrest that he could no longer bear that Muslims were dying in both Afghanistan and Palestine. The man believed that France was complicit in Israel's war in the Gaza Strip and wanted to die as a martyr. The man is said to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" (roughly: "God is greatest") when he was arrested, BFMTV and "Le Parisien" reported, citing the police. A confessional video is also said to have been found. According to Le Parisien, the alleged perpetrator is said to have sworn allegiance to the terrorist organization Islamic State. He is said to claim that he is acting to "avenge the Muslims."
France has been on the highest terror alert level for weeks after a young Islamist killed a teacher at the beginning of October. With a view to next year's Olympic Games in Paris, the general secretary of the union for internal security was "very concerned" after the attack on Sunday and spoke of a "great challenge".
Note: This article has been updated several times.