Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Terror probe opened into Eiffel Tower incident

Terror probe opened into Eiffel Tower incident

Police in Paris have arrested a man brandishing a knife who tried to breach security at the Eiffel Tower.

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

The incident was initially treated as a criminal matter, but was later designated a counter-terrorism case because of the suspect's statements to police and his apparent radicalisation, the source said.

The man, who was apparently alone, was "very quickly overpowered and arrested" and nobody was hurt, a statement from the company that runs the monument said.

French police have had extended powers since the terror attacks in November 2015 which left 130 people dead.

Under questioning, the suspect stated that he wanted to attack a soldier and that a member of the Islamic State extremist organisation had encouraged him to act, according to a source close to the investigation.

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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.

But the suspect, a French national born in Mauritania in 1998, is thought to have psychiatric problems.

When arrested on Saturday night, the man was reportedly wearing the colors of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team. The tower reopened as usual Sunday morning.

The famous French landmark was lit up in blue and red while a screen flashed up images of the striker signed from Barcelona for a world-record £198million.

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

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