Terror probe after blade incident at Eiffel Tower

Posted August 07, 2017

French police arrested an intruder brandishing a knife at the Eiffel Tower on Saturday night which led the monument to be evacuated, sources said.

Sources told RFI that the unidentified man shouted "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" in Arabic - during the incident.

Investigations have been opened to the Anti-Terrorist Section of the Criminal Brigade (SAT) and to the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) and the charges are "terrorist criminal association for the commission of crimes of genocide, attacks on persons" and "attempted assassination of persons holding public authority in connection with a terrorist enterprise", added the report.

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The man was quickly subdued by soldiers and taken into custody, while police cleared out visitors in order to conduct a search of the entire area.

The detainee, according to a source close to the investigation, has a history of mental disorders and left a psychiatric facility in late July, but in his statements to the police said he carried out the action as a member of the terrorist group Islamic State (EI).

The Eiffel Tower reopened to tourists as usual on Sunday morning.

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In January, a man attacked soldiers on guard near the Louvre museum in Paris with a machete, causing a slight injury to one of them.

Although a French national, the man was born in Mauritania, an African Arab nation, in 1998.

He was found guilty of inciting terrorism and making death threats in December 2016 and received a suspended sentence. The Eiffel Tower was lit up with team colors in celebration of the record-breaking $520 million acquisition of Brazilian star Neymar.

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Security forces have been attacked several times this year at tourist sites in Paris, which they patrol intensively.