The French authorities reported that a German tourist died and other people were injured late Saturday night in central Paris after a man attacked with a hammer and a knife. The incident sparked concerns about a renewed jihadist terror attack in an already on edge nation.
Soon after the assault, a suspect arrested in the area. Authorities said the man had severe psychiatric problems and told police that he was angry about the deaths of Muslims around the world, especially in Gaza. France’s national antiterrorism prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation.
Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, said the suspect first attacked two German tourists shortly after 9 p.m. on the Quai de Grenelle, not far from the Eiffel Tower, killing one of them, a Filipino-born German man, with a knife. Darmanin confirmed that the other victim, a female, was uninjured.
“This person was clearly ready to kill other people,” Darmanin, Mr. Darmanin, told reporters in Paris.
France was hit by large-scale Islamist terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016. Then, in the following years, a string smaller but deadly shootings or stabbings. The country remains on the highest level of alert following last month’s killing of a French teacher in the north.
“We won’t give in to terrorism,” Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne Say on X, formerly Twitter, after Saturday’s attack.
Mr. Darmanin, who did not name the suspect, said that the suspect was French, born in Neuilly Sur-Seine in 1997, an upscale suburb in Paris. The French intelligence services were on his radar.
In 2016, the man was found guilty of a foiled attempt to carry out an extortion scheme. “violent action” Darmanin, who did not offer any other details, said that the film was due to be released in 2020.
The suspect lives with his parents in a suburb of Paris. “very serious psychiatric disorders” Darmanin says that the man is currently undergoing treatment for psychiatric and neurologic disorders.
The suspect shouted at the taxi driver when he tried to stop him after the German couple had been attacked. “God is great” Darmanin said in Arabic.
Darmanin claimed that after this attack, the assailant fled over the Seine River, on the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. This bridge connects the Seventh to the 16th Arrangments of Paris.
He said that a police patrol car called to the scene started pursuing the assailant, who went on to attack two other people — another tourist and a Frenchman in his 60s — with a hammer, injuring one of them in the eye. Darmanin also said that the injuries of both men were not life-threatening.
The police arrested the man in a nearby public square after he had threatened them. “very violently” Darmanin stated that the attacker tried to attack a police officer who then subdued him with a stun weapon.
During his arrest the suspect repeated what he had said before. “God is Great” Darmanin, in Arabic, said that he is upset about the death of Muslims both in Afghanistan and Gaza. He also accused France as being racist. “complicit” in Israel’s actions there.
The attack occurred on Saturday, less than a calendar year before 2024 Summer Olympic Games. These Games will feature an opening ceremony along the Seine River. Security concerns have grown as a result.