Deadly knife attack near Paris being treated as terror-related
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Deadly knife attack near Paris being treated as terror-related

Prosecutor says attacker yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ multiple times during assault, had psychiatric history; police say books on Islam were found in his bag

A riot police officer checks a badge after a man attacked passerby January 3, 2020 in Villejuif, south of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A riot police officer checks a badge after a man attacked passerby January 3, 2020 in Villejuif, south of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors have said a knife attack on Friday that left one man dead and two women injured in a park in the Paris area is being treated as terror-related.

In a statement Saturday, they said investigations over the past few hours revealed that the assailant, who was shot dead by police, had been radicalized and had prepared the attack in Villejuif, in the southern suburbs of Paris.

They said their investigations now justify a probe into “murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist undertaking.”

Earlier Saturday, Creteil prosecutor Laure Beccuau described the assailant as a 22-year-old man with a long and serious psychiatric history.

Speaking at a news conference, she said he had converted to Islam between May and July 2019 and that he shouted “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — several times during the attack.

She added that investigators are also looking into the assailant’s phone calls and computer equipment. No accomplice has been identified.

A rescue worker walks in a park after a man attacked passerby, January 3, 2020 in Villejuif, south of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Philippe Bugeaud, deputy director of the judicial police, said a letter — details of which were not revealed — and several books about Islam were found in the assailant’s bag, including some about Salafism, widely considered to be a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Two women injured in the attack have left the hospital.

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