Hammer-Wielding Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Kills Paris Tourist, Wounds 2 More

A knife- and hammer-wielding French national killed a German and wounded two more people close to the Eiffel Tower on Saturday night, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin announced

The attack unfolded around 8 pm local time on the Quai de Grenelle, a tourist-magnet thoroughfare along the Seine River close to the Eiffel Tower. The assailant reportedly first approached a couple and fatally stabbed a Philippines-born German citizen in his back and shoulder.

As police gave chase, he managed to attack two more people with a hammer before cops mercifully subdued him with a Taser. At least one of those additional victims was an English tourist strolling with his wife and child, according to Le Parisien.

Investigators place evidence markers along a sidewalk in the aftermath of the fatal knife and hammer attack in Paris

“The assailant was neutralized very quickly by police. We tried to save the life of this man. It’s a man who died and they (the people who were attacked) were tourists,” Dr Patrick Pelloux tells BFM TV. The Englishman is hospitalized in stable condition. The other survivor is said to have been “badly hurt.” 

Police say they’ve arrested the 26-year-old attacker. However, demonstrating a lack of government transparency reminiscent of last week’s stabbing spree in Dublin by an Algerian immigrant, French authorities have not yet identified him or released details about his ethnicity. To their credit, however, they have said he is a radical Islamist who was born in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, an exclusive western Paris suburb, and who lives with his parents in the Esonne region south of the city.

They also said the individual had already been on a police watch list, having been sentenced in 2016 to four years in prison for planning a different terror attack. Authorities say that, on Saturday evening, he shouted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is greatest” — and later told cops that he was angry that “so many Muslims are dying in Afghanistan and in Palestine.” 

An estimated 15,000 residents of Gaza have been killed by the Israel Defense Forces since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel. More women and children have been killed there than in the entire Ukraine war that began in February 2022. 

With the Eiffel Tower illuminated behind them, French police cordon off an area after Saturday night’s attack (Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters via New York Post)

Darmanin also said the man had been previously diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. The investigation into Saturday’s bloodshed will be led by France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office. 

“He [suspect] said to the police who arrested him that he could no longer accept that Muslims die in Afghanistan and Palestine,” the official said. 

Paris has endured many attacks fueled by Islamist extremism, most notably the November 2015 suicide-bombing and shooting attacks that killed 130 people — including 90 attending a concert at the Bataclan Theater — and injured another 400. In October, the French government raised the terror alert to the highest threat level after an Islamist radical stabbed a teacher to death. 

Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympiad in July and August, starting with an unusual and ambitious opening ceremony that will present unique challenges for counterterrorism efforts. Unlike previous opening ceremonies, which take place within the confines of a secured stadium, Paris will host a parade of boats along the Seine, with hopes of attracting some 600,000 spectators along miles of river banks. 

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