French authorities have identified the man who stabbed and sliced at passersby in Paris’s bustling opera and shopping district Saturday as a “French national born in Chechnya in 1997.” The man, whom French police shot and killed at the scene of attack, was on France’s terror watch list and his parents have been taken in for questioning.
According to France 24 and the BBC, the attacker, who killed one person and injured several others, was questioned last year over suspected connections to terrorists in Syria. He had no previous run-ins with the law and no criminal convictions, but was named on France’s infamous “S” list of people living in France who are suspected of having contacts with Jihadi groups.
ISIS claimed credit for the attack.
The attack took place just a few blocks north of the Louvre Museum in a “bustling” tourist zone with a busy train station, the Paris Opera House, several large department stores, and busy cafes and restaurants. It is an area well-known for its safety, but Saturday, the attacker took to the streets, brandishing a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and taunting police to “kill me or I’ll kill you.”
The attack is the latest in a wave of terror overtaking France. According to the French government, more than 245 people have died in terror attacks in the last three years, including the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the 2015 attack on the Bataclan nightclub, and a truck attack in Nice that killed 80.
French authorities are now facing questions as to why so many identified suspects on their “S” list have gone on to commit acts of terror, even as the French government has promised those same individuals are under regular surveillance.