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Knife-wielding man on terrorist watch list shot by police in France

Monday, 6 January, 2020 - 12:45

French police shot and injured a man on Sunday who was wielding a knife through the streets of the city of Metz, while shouting “Allah is great” in Arabic, according to witnesses. Metz city prosecutor, Christian Mercuri, explained that the man was suffering from psychiatric problems, but that he was also on a security watch list for Islamic extremists.

A police source said the suspect, who was born in 1989, threatened officers when they arrived at the scene, and they fired shots to overpower him.

“He is injured but his life is not in danger,” the source said, adding that no one else was hurt.

This is the second event of its kind in France in three days. On Friday a man with psychiatric problems killed one person and wounded two in a park in Villejuif, outside Paris. The Villejuif attacker, identified by the French press as Nathan S., also shouted “Allah is great”, but unlike the Metz attacker was not on the police radar.

The French anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office took over the Villejuif case on Saturday, after preliminary investigation revealed that the aggressor had radicalized after converting to Islam in 2017 and had preplanned the deadly attack.

The office of the anti-terrorism prosecutor said that “although the [Villejuif] perpetrator had a proven history of serious psychiatric problems”, the investigation had shown “a distinct radicalisation … as well as preparations for his attack.”

Nathan S., who had psychiatric problems since he was a child, was shot down by police near a mall before he could attack more people.

On Tuesday, France will mark the fifth anniversary of the killing of 12 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris by two brothers pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda.


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