On Thursday, police in Paris shot and killed a knife-wielding man who tried to enter a police station. The man was shouting “Allahu Akbar”, which translates into “God is great”, at the time of the incident. He was also wearing a phony suicide belt. The attacker has not yet been identified.
The incident occurred on the one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. Just minutes prior to the most recent attack, French President Francois Hollande had given a speech in a separate part of Paris to mark the anniversary. In the attacks last January, shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office and a Jewish supermarket led to the deaths of 17 people.
France has been on high alert since last November, when 130 people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris. Coordinated shootings and suicide bombings targeted several areas in the capital, including a music hall, a soccer stadium and several bars and restaurants. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
During the most recent incident, the man tried to force his way into a police station located in the 18th district of northern Paris. ISIS reportedly planned to attack this area as part of the attacks in November.
An official of the Alternative Police Union in Paris stated, “According to our colleagues, he wanted to blow himself up. He shouted Allahu Akbar and had wires protruding from his clothes. That’s why the police officer opened fire.”
Bomb experts were immediately deployed to the scene to handle the situation. Witnesses have reported seeing a bomb-disposal robot working next to the deceased man’s body. During the incident, the man reportedly charged at the police before he was shot.
During his speech, President Hollande stated that he would work to better equip police officers in order to prevent future militant attacks. Additionally, the French President also spoke positively of the intense security measures that have been implemented since November. Many people have attacked these security measures, comparing them to the Patriot Act that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Since the November attacks, France has stepped up its efforts in Syria and Iraq. French forces have been launching a series of airstrikes against jihadist groups in the Middle East. The country is now the second largest contributor to the American-led coalition against ISIS.