The Eiffel Tower had to be evacuated ten minutes before it closed on Saturday night when a man carrying a knife was arrested as he tried to force his way inside, yelling “Allahu akbar,” and brandishing a knife, the company that runs the famous Paris landmark told reporters on Sunday.
The man, who apparently acted alone, was “very quickly overpowered and arrested” and nobody was hurt.
Reporting on the incident, France 24 felt the need to translate the 19-year-old immigrant’s words, letting readers know that “Allahu akbar” is the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”
The terrorist is said to be a “French man” who was “recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital, according to authorities. But it was then disclosed that he wasn’t actually born in France, he was born in Mauritania, but the country was kind enough to grant him citizenship. Officials are not currently releasing his name.
“A source close to the investigation said the suspect told investigators that he wanted to attack a soldier and that he had been in contact with someone from the Islamic State group who encouraged him,” the French media reported.
Police said on Sunday they were opening an investigation to determine if the incident was terror-related. Because they’re apparently still not sure.
The incident happened at 11:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) Saturday night, about half an hour before the Tower normally stops admitting visitors. After the arrest, police at the site checked the venue and called for it to be evacuated approximately 15 minutes before the Eiffel Tower normally closes, according to the statement.
The Eiffel Tower, which was lit up at the time to welcome Brazilian soccer star Neymar with his team’s colors to the city, opened as usual on Sunday morning. The terrorist was wearing a Paris Saint-Germain football shirt.
France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks on Paris restaurants, a concert venue and a sports stadium that left 130 people dead.
The first wave of attacks began when ISIS-inspired terrorists massacred staff members at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in January 2015. Since then, 239 people have been killed in terrorist incidents across France.
— Ahmet Novalic (@elahmo) August 5, 2017
Eiffel Tower evacuated after knifeman ‘shouts Allahu Akbar’…
— Paul Kent (@kentpg) August 6, 2017
ANOTHER MOSLEM WITH ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS’…Man with knife arrested at Eiffel Tower https://t.co/xBsM5Q8V51
— Corky Engel (@corkyengel) August 6, 2017
Eiffel Tower knifeman held by police amid terror fears – He was “quickly overpowered and arrested” after trying… https://t.co/pJ3m3j0NJ1
— Keith Trenchard (@keithtrenchard) August 6, 2017
Paris has begun investigation of attack of the man with a knife at the Eiffel Tower — Rambler News… https://t.co/MKAwkFSSv8
— Wordnews (@WordnewsUs) August 6, 2017
Eiffel Tower evacuated as police arrest man with knife not a terror attack I presume🤔 https://t.co/swDFSInjK2
— 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧💚💚💚 (@gdparker19791) August 6, 2017
‘Psychiatric Problems’: Knife-man Arrested at Eiffel Tower After Shouting ‘Allah Akhbar’ https://t.co/UZViNQttEN
— Gary Neal (@labrachowhound) August 6, 2017
— yeshaYahu24 (@WoodardHortense) August 6, 2017
France Opens Counter-Terrorism Probe Into Knife-Wielding Man at Eiffel Tower -Source https://t.co/Yk11kZShFV
— Tribune World News (@TribuneWorld) August 6, 2017
Eiffel Tower knife attack: French prosecutors launch counterterrorism investigation – source https://t.co/pcruG8RaiW
— Janet Orendorff (@JanetOrendorff) August 6, 2017
We have a major Radical Islam problem and it’s only getting worst. Look at Paris again today another terrorist attack at the Eiffel tower
— Chris 🇨🇦 (@SarniamakChris) August 6, 2017
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