Tim Hume and Atika Shubert, CNN, January 7, 2016
Paris, on edge after weathering a year of jihadist violence, faced a fresh scare Thursday as police shot dead a knife-wielding man on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
An image of the ISIS flag, printed on paper, was found on the man’s body, along with a handwritten note in Arabic from him claiming responsibility for the attack, the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The office’s anti-terror section is investigating.
The man, whose identity is not known, was shot as he attempted to enter a police station in the northern Paris neighborhood of Barbes, bearing a butcher’s knife and yelling “Allahu Akbar,” the statement said. He was carrying a fake explosive device, it said.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at a press conference that investigations were underway to determine the identity of the attacker and his motivations.
The attempted attack took place at 11:30 a.m., the Paris prosecutor’s office said–a year to the minute since the Charlie Hebdo killings, the first of a spate of deadly jihadist attacks that have roiled the French capital over the past 12 months.
Caroline Fourest, former journalist at Charlie Hebdo, responded like many Parisians with weary resignation to Thursday’s attempt–a reflection that such incidents had become “the new normal” in France over the past year.
Europe was “just at the beginning” of weathering the threat from jihadism, she said.
“We know that it’s going to be this way for the next years as long as the people who are giving orders from Syria are not disconnected.”