BREAKING: Police have arrested 37-year-old Bachir Hamou, an Algerian, related to the attack. See updates below.
Just days after a Mauritanian immigrant jumped over security barriers brandishing a knife at the Eiffel Tower intending to kill a soldier, a still-unknown suspect has rammed into a group of French soldiers outside their barracks in what authorities are calling a deliberate act. Six soldiers are reportedly injured.
The soldiers are part of Operation Sentinel, activated after the declared national emergency following the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack.
Anti-terror police are now investigating the incident, which occurred in Levallois-Perret outside Paris.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 9, 2017
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) August 9, 2017
"I'll never forget that scream" Witness recounts car attack that injured six French soldiers https://t.co/hkwxZNqq6v
— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) August 9, 2017
Mayor: The vehicle that plowed into soldiers in a Paris suburb was "without a doubt" the work of a "terrorist." https://t.co/kcrta4A9Xs
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 9, 2017
Sky News reports:
Police are hunting a driver who rammed his BMW into a group of French soldiers in western Paris, before speeding off.
Six of the dozen or so troops were injured – two of them seriously – in the attack which is being investigated by counter-terrorism officials.
It happened near the Place de Verdun in the Levallois-Perret suburb of the city at around 8am local time.
A search is also ongoing for the dark-coloured vehicle which is said to have been driven at speed at the troops as they left their barracks to go on patrol.
Mayor of Levallois-Perret, Patrick Balkany, condemned the attack as “an odious act of aggression”, adding: “Without any doubt, it was a deliberate act.”
“It all happened very quickly. The vehicle did not stop. It hurtled at them… it accelerated rapidly,” he told broadcaster BFMTV.
If this is a confirmed terror attack, it would mark the eighth terror attack in France this year alone.
I reported on the Eiffel Tower incident this past weekend here at PJ Media.
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) August 6, 2017
This would also add to the list of vehicle ramming attacks in Europe over the past year, including an attempted attack on police on the iconic Champs-Elysees in the heart of Paris this past June:
— AFPgraphics (@AFPgraphics) June 19, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 19, 2017
French authorities are also looking for some of the 271 French ISIS operatives who are known to have already returned from Syria and Iraq:
France has seen 271 jihadi militants return: minister https://t.co/HPudKcVGLq
— Reuters Iran (@ReutersIran) August 6, 2017
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) August 9, 2017
UPDATE: The attacker has been identified as 37-year old Bachir Hamou, an Algerian, who lived in Sartrouville:
— feelitt (@felliterre) August 9, 2017
French PM confirms a suspect shot and arrested on a motorway is the same person wanted in connection to a car attack on soldiers in Paris
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) August 9, 2017
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 9, 2017
— Terror Events (@TerrorEvents) August 9, 2017
— Olivier Guitta (@OlivierGuitta) August 9, 2017
The Local reports:
A man has been shot and arrested in relation to Wednesday morning’s assault when anti-terror soldiers in the northwestern suburbs of Paris were rammed into by a car, leaving six injured.
French security forces have shot and arrested a man suspected of being behind an attack on a group of soldiers on Wednesday morning in the town of Levallois-Perret, security sources told AFP.
The man, aged in his late 30s, was intercepted on a motorway north of the French capital in a vehicle used to drive into the soldiers, the sources said, asking not to be named.
One source close to the case said the man had been stopped at the wheel of a BMW driving towards the northern port of Calais.
A second legal source added: “The arrested individual, born in 1980, is suspected to be the culprit” of the assault in the Levallois-Perret area of Paris at around 8am.
“He was driving the vehicle we were looking for and tried to flee,” the source added, leading police to open fire.