Attack in Paris: who is Armand R., the attacker of the Quai de Grenelle? The trail of the attack studied

The knife and hammer attack, which killed a German tourist in Paris on Saturday evening, is believed to be the work of an individual on file S, already convicted in the past for planning an attack in La Défense.

Attack in Paris: who is Armand R., the attacker of the Quai de Grenelle? The trail of the attack studied

The knife and hammer attack, which killed a German tourist in Paris on Saturday evening, is believed to be the work of an individual on file S, already convicted in the past for planning an attack in La Défense. The attack trail seems privileged.

A knife and hammer attack left one dead and two injured in Paris on Saturday evening, on the Quai de Grenelle, near the Eiffel Tower. The attacker, quickly arrested by the police, is already known to the intelligence services, was on file S for his involvement in radical Islamism. He suffers from severe psychological disorders. His communications and identity papers, handed over to the courts, leave no doubt about his identity. The suspect, Armand R., was presented as a 26-year-old man, born in Neuilly-sur-Seine and of French nationality.

Armand R. lived with his parents of Iranian origin, in Essonne until the tragedy. He was sentenced in 2016 to a four-year prison term for planning an attack in La Défense. He would also have considered leaving for Syria. According to Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, he was released in 2020 and was under surveillance for his psychiatric disorders.

Following his arrest, Armand R. reportedly declared to the police that he could no longer support "the Arabs being killed in Afghanistan and Palestine", again according to Gérald Darmanin. He also reportedly said he wanted to die as a martyr.

A video was filmed by the alleged perpetrator of the attack in Paris before his act. Relayed by journalist Wassim Nasr and by several media outlets including Le Figaro, it shows the author with a face mask declaring his support for the caliphate of the Islamic State.

The attack began near the Bir Hakeim station, in the 15th arrondissement, where a German tourist was fatally injured with wounds to his back and shoulder. His death was pronounced shortly before 10 p.m. The assailant then headed towards the 16th arrondissement, where he injured two other tourists, including an English tourist, hit in the eye with a hammer while he was walking with his wife and child. Armand R. was then arrested by the police who used a taser to incapacitate him.

The first elements of the investigation reveal that the attacker shouted "Allah Akbar" during the attack, which prompted the national anti-terrorism prosecution to take up the case. This statement, combined with his video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and his desire to die as a martyr, confirms the seriousness of his radicalism.

This tragedy provoked a strong reaction from the authorities. Emmanuel Macron expressed his "condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased German national" in the evening and already spoke of a "terrorist attack" on the social network X (formerly Twitter). “My most sincere thanks to the emergency forces who made it possible to quickly arrest a suspect,” he said. Gérald Darmanin also praised the coolness and rapid intervention of the police and affirmed that France will give in nothing in the face of terrorism. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne also paid tribute to the victims and praised the courage of the police.

The investigation continues to determine the precise circumstances and the route of the attacker, who, despite his surveillance, was able to commit such a tragic act. This attack, in addition to being a painful reminder of the constant threat of terrorism in the territory, once again raises crucial questions about the surveillance of radicalized individuals and the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the context of national security.

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