A French-Iranian national, Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, suspected of fatally stabbing a tourist near the Eiffel Tower, is facing terrorism charges. The incident has prompted an anti-terrorism investigation by French prosecutors, reflecting broader fears in the lead-up to the Paris Olympic Games.
A man suspected of stabbing a tourist to death near the Eiffel Tower is set to appear before a French judge on Wednesday to face charges related to carrying out a terror attack, according to a source close to the case. The attack, which occurred late Saturday, took place while France is under its highest alert level amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas, along with a series of isolated attacks in the country.
The incident has heightened security concerns leading up to the Paris Olympic Games this summer.
The case is being handled by French anti-terrorist prosecutors, who have initiated an investigation into a “terrorist” plot.
Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a French national born in 1997 to Iranian parents, is a known Islamist radical who has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and was under psychological surveillance for mental health issues. He was arrested for killing a 23-year-old man, identified as a German-Filipino citizen, with two blows from a hammer and four from a knife, as well as wounding two others.
Rajabpour-Miyandoab is scheduled to appear before the investigating magistrate in the afternoon, who is expected to formally charge him ahead of trial, the source said.
He told investigators that he acted “in reaction to the persecution of Muslims around the world,” a source close to the investigation said, describing him as “very cold” during questioning.
He chose the Eiffel Tower because he “could not bear it being lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag,” the source added.
Rajabpour-Miyandoab, whose family is not religious, converted to Islam at 18 and began consuming substantial amounts of IS propaganda, according to prosecutors.
France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Monday that there had been a “psychiatric failure” in his case, as “doctors said on several occasions that he was doing better.”
His mother had reported concerns about him as recently as October, but there was insufficient proof at the time to take legal action.
Miroslava Salazar, with AFP