The man who stabbed four and killed one person in a Paris suburb before he was shot by police had a history of mental illness and owned a Koran, prosecutors have revealed, adding they’d found “no evidence” he’d been radicalized.
While some witnesses reported hearing the man shout “Allahu Akhbar” as he began stabbing people – seemingly at random – in a park in the Paris suburb of Villejuif on Friday, prosecutors have stated they do not have evidence of radicalization as a motive, though “elements linked to religion” that “suggested he had converted to Islam” were found among his belongings, according to AFP.
The man, identified as 22-year-old Nathan C. from his credit card and fingerprints, stabbed four people, killing a 56-year-old man who tried to protect his wife from the knife-wielding attacker. Another victim is said to be in serious condition. The attacker was shot by police after fleeing to the nearby suburb of Hay-les-Roses.
Prosecutors confirmed that Nathan C. had a history of mental health episodes. He is described in French media as a European (presumably white) man, barefoot and bearded in a black djellaba.
A suitcase belonging to the attacker found near the site of the stabbings in Hautes-Bruyères Park contained “a very confused letter in which he spoke of Allah and asked for forgiveness,” Le Figaro reports, adding that “a religious book” – presumably the Koran prosecutors mentioned – “was found not far from his corpse.”
While the knifeman was initially reported to be wearing an explosive vest after he reached into his pocket upon being shot, an explosives team inspected his body afterwards and found no trace of explosives.
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