Paris : French police arrested a young man Wednesday over the weekend stabbing of a soldier in Paris, with prosecutors saying he admitted to the attack and was probably motivated by “religious ideology”. The Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.
Paris prosecutor Xavier Molins said the man, named as Alexandre D. and who was to turn 22 on Thursday, was a convert to Islam who had bought two knives and said a Muslim prayer shortly before stabbing Private First Class Cedric Cordiez in the neck on Saturday.
Molins said the man, who was known to police after undergoing an identity check in 2009 for praying on the street, had “admitted to the act” during his arrest in the Yvelines region just west of Paris.
The stabbing echoed the grisly killing of a British soldier in London last week and authorities are seeking to determine if the Paris incident was a copycat. The prosecutor said the suspect had “a fairly clear intent to kill” during the attack, which took place in a busy underground shopping and transport hub while Cordiez was on patrol with two colleagues.
Cordiez, 23, was wounded but released from hospital on Monday and returned to his unit. The head of Paris investigative police, Christian Flaesch, said there had been no previous indications of the suspect’s involvement in violent extremism.
“Other than the praying in the street, there were no other elements that could have indicated he was dangerous,” Flaesch said, adding that the man was from a “family that seems completely honourable”. Molins said the suspect had shown an “impressive determination” to carry out the attack, stabbing the soldier “several times” with a fold-out knife.