A knife-wielding man, screaming “Allah,” attacked a soldier outside the Metro station in Paris Friday. The victim wrestled the man to the ground, according to witnesses.
Reports say the attacker approached the soldier from behind, then lunged at him with the blade, making reference to Allah, a police source said. The incident, which occurred at around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning at the Chatelet metro station, ended when the French soldier managed to wrestle the man with the knife to the ground.
“He was restrained, and nobody was injured,” said a source investigating the case, according to the Daily Mail (DM).
The unidentified assailant, who was not previously known to authorities, was arrested by armed police, all the while shouting ISIS slogans, reportedly.
According to the DM, the suspect “rushed at a patrol of soldiers wearing combat uniforms and brandishing assault rifles.”
He was taken to the main Chatelet police station and faces a range of terrorist charges, as well as the possibility of a psychiatric evaluation, according to Jihad Watch (JW).
The DM reports that the attack was leveled at a service member who was part of Operation Sentinelle (OS). OS is an initiative in which the soldiers’ job is to protect vulnerable areas of Paris, including transport hubs such as Chatelet.
It involves 10,000 soldiers and 4,700 gendarmes and police, reportedly. The areas they monitor are used by thousands of commuters and tourists daily.
Critics of the OS say that service personnel involved have become easy targets themselves, especially by lone wolf attackers. The OS service members are reportedly routinely targeted in attempts made to wound or kill them.
According to the Telegraph:
Soldiers and police officers have in recent years frequently been the target of attackers in France who often claim allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) terror group.
French defense minister Florence Parly said the fact that the attacker was swiftly brought under control Friday was “proof of the professionalism and efficiency of the Sentinelle soldiers in their mission to protect.”
The government launched Operation Sentinelle after a string of terror attacks hit France. The final straw came in January 2015, when jihadist gunmen stormed the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, killing 12.
Since its formation, OS troops have been attacked seven times, including last month when a man rammed a car into a group of soldiers in the Paris suburbs, injuring six, the Times of Israel reported.
Investigators have opened an anti-terror probe into the Friday attack, a government spokesman, Christophe Castaner, said.
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) September 15, 2017
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) September 15, 2017
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