Paris Knife Attacker, Born in Chechnya, Was on Terrorism Watch List

PARIS — The knife-wielding man who briefly unfold terror in the center of Paris on Saturday night time was born in Chechnya and was on an inventory of potential terrorism suspects, main critics of the French authorities’s antiterrorism coverage to once more name on Sunday for a crackdown on these on the listing.

The man, recognized by the police and the French information media as Khamzat Azimov, 20, a French citizen, stabbed five passers-by, one fatally, in the center of a neighborhood crowded with eating places and bars, the authorities mentioned.

His palms and face bloodied from the assaults, he confronted three cops in a slim avenue close to the principle Paris Opera home, the Rue Monsigny, witnesses mentioned, and was shortly gunned down after the police apparently didn’t cease him with a stun gun.

A day after the deadly stabbing, the Islamic State’s information company, Amaq, launched a cellphone video of the attacker pledging allegiance to the terrorist group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and issuing a name to fellow Islamic State supporters in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere to hold out assaults.

The rampage on Saturday lasted lower than 20 minutes, and Oliver Woodhead, a restaurant proprietor on the road, mentioned the police had arrived “within 45 seconds” of the suspect’s look on the Rue Monsigny.

Mr. Woodhead mentioned he noticed the suspect working into the Rue Monsigny, apparently on the lookout for extra potential victims. “He came around the corner, and his hands were bloody,” Mr. Woodhead mentioned. “He’d done his business.”

Three cops on foot shortly entered the quick avenue. After the beautiful didn’t cease him, “he came at the third policeman,” Mr. Woodhead mentioned.

Two photographs had been fired, one in all them hitting the suspect in the chest.

A French judicial official mentioned that the sufferer who was fatally stabbed was a 29-year-old man. None of the accidents suffered by the 4 wounded persons are thought of life-threatening, officers mentioned on Sunday.

The suspect had been on the federal government’s terrorism watch listing since 2016, positioned there, in accordance with French information reviews, due to his contacts with a person whose spouse had tried to go to Syria.

The terrorism watch listing is broad and lengthy — there are about 20,000 names on it. Successive governments have mentioned that the listing is merely a software to assist maintain unfastened monitor of these in hazard of turning to terrorism.

Even slight indications of jihadist affinity, as in the case of the suspect in Saturday’s assault, are sufficient to land people on the listing. There are too many to observe carefully, officers say, and it doesn’t sign previous prison exercise.

After every assault, however, opposition politicians name for a crackdown, generally demanding the internment or expulsion of all these on the listing.

“Once again we learn that the terrorist was in the S Files,” mentioned Marine Le Pen, the chief of France’s far-right National Front, referring to the federal government’s antiterrorism listing. “What use are the S Files if we don’t use them to neutralize these time bombs on French soil?”

A authorities spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, responded in a broadcast on Sunday that “zero risk doesn’t exist” and that “those who say pulling responses out of a hat will solve the problem are lying.”

On Sunday, the police questioned Mr. Azimov’s mother and father and searched an condominium related to the household in the 18th Arrondissement of Paris. He was born in the Russian republic of Chechnya and have become a naturalized French citizen in 2010. He grew up in Strasbourg, in japanese France, in accordance with a French judicial official. The official mentioned good friend of Mr. Azimov’s, additionally born in 1997, had been taken into custody in Strasbourg.

Apart from being questioned by safety providers in 2017 over his connections to the Syria departure, he had no earlier run-ins with the authorities.

But the actual fact the attacker was capable of get his videotaped footage to the Islamist group’s central information operation earlier than finishing up the stabbing signifies that he had, at a minimal, a digital reference to the terrorist group.

In the 2 minute and 31 second video clip, Mr. Azimov is seen sporting a baklava that covers the decrease a part of his face. He is in a wooded, secluded space and he speaks into the digicam, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

In practically each different case in which such a video pledge was shared with the terrorist group forward of the assault, officers later found proof of a direct digital reference to the Islamic State or the group’s associates, together with in the 2016 Bangladesh espresso store siege, the 2017 Berlin truck assault and the killing of a priest in a French church throughout Mass in 2016.

“There is a lot of suffering; this is a new ordeal,” Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, instructed French tv, as she paid a go to on Sunday morning to the neighborhood of the assault. “Every time we are called for this kind of events, we wonder if this is going to happen again.”

Adam Nossiter reported from Paris, and Rukmini Callimachi from New York. Elian Peltier contributed reporting from Paris.

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