A Brief Colonial History Of Ceylon(SriLanka)
Jack Layton’s open letter
Systematic Genocide of Tamils
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Khamzat Azimov, who struck in busy theatre district of French capital on Saturday night, had been flagged as a security riskOne man killed in Paris as knifeman attacks passersby at random – video report
Kim Willsher -
French officials said the knife-wielding attacker who killed a passerby and injured four others in Paris on Saturday evening had been previously been flagged as a possible security risk and interviewed by counter-terrorist police.
The attacker, named as Khamzat Azimov, 20, struck in one of the most popular areas of the city, near the celebrated opera house and theatres, before before being shot dead by police in Paris.
Police said he was previously interviewed because of his contacts, not his behaviour, and they insisted he had shown no signs of extremism in his everyday life or on social media.
Azimov, was listed as a person susceptible to Islamic radicalisation, but “more for the company he keeps than for his own behaviour, his actions or his opinions”, according to a report in Le Figaro.
French police took the man’s parents into custody on Sunday for questioning about his links to jihadists in Syria and searched the family home in the 18th arrondissement in the north of Paris. One of Azimov’s friends from Strasbourg, where he grew up, was also reportedly detained for questioning.
Azimov struck at random in the busy area of restaurants and theatres near Paris’s Opera Garnier in the city’s second arrondissement, at about 8.50pm local time.
Witnesses said Azimov, who was born in Chechnya, but obtained French nationality in 2010 when his mother was naturalised, arrived at the scene of the attack by metro. He was dressed in black, and carrying a knife.
Police were quick to arrive at the scene as he walked along rue Monsigny, a one-way street, apparently looking for victims. Panicked diners fled terraces or took refuge under tables inside restaurants.
Officers, praised for their sangfroid, reportedly tried to halt him with a stun-gun, but when he continued to threaten them shot him dead.
Witnesses said Azimov shouted: “Go ahead. Shoot. I’m going to get you.”
French police at the site of the knife attack near Opera Garnier in Paris. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock
In the moments before, he stabbed to death a 29-year-old man walking in the street and injured four others. Two of the injured were said to be in a serious, but not life-threatening, condition in hospital.
Several witnesses claimed the attacker cried “Allahu Akbar” as he lunged at people. This was confirmed by the public prosecutor, François Molins. Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Born in the Caucuses, Azimov’s family came to France in the early 2000s and moved to Nice before settling on a housing estate at Elsau, in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, home to a large number of Chechen migrants. The family’s request for refugee status was initially refused; on appeal it was finally approved by the National Court for the Right to Asylum in 2004. Azimov’s father was refused French nationality after separating from the boy’s mother. Le Monde said the couple had since reunited and moved to a new home in the north of Paris.
Although he had never been in trouble with the police or the authorities and had no criminal record, he had come to the attention of French security services because of his contacts with a group of young people wanting to travel to Syria.
Azimov, who was not carrying identity papers, had been interviewed by counter-terrorism officers a year ago after it was discovered he was friends with a man whose wife had travelled to Syria. He had been on the Fiche-S list of people considered a potential security risk since 2016 but was considered a suiveur(follower), or secondary figure, according to anti-terrorist officers. He had no criminal record.
Up to 20,000 – from radical Islamists to hooligans and members of the extreme right or extreme left – people are believed to be on the Fiche S list and classified according to their potential risk.
In a series of tweets, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said his thoughts were with the victims of the attack and praised the courage of police who “neutralised the terrorist”.
“France is paying in blood once again, but it will not give one inch to the enemies of freedom,” he wrote.
The interior minister, Gérard Collomb, hailed the sangfroid and quick response of police who shot the attacker. “My first thoughts are with the victims of this odious act,” he tweeted.
Another woman who was out with her young son and saw the knifeman said he seemed determined to attack police officers who had tried to surround and immobilise him.
“Police surrounded him and I really thought that would stop him, but not at all. He literally jumped at the police. He was so determined,” she told BFM TV.
She added: “He was small, slim, longish hair, like all the fashionable young, a three-day beard. He did not stand out. He was dressed normally. Never in my life would I have thought he was going to attack.”
A forensic officer and a police officer stand next to a numbered reference index pad and a camera on a tripod near the scene of the crime in Paris. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images
A waiter on duty near the opera house, named only as Jonathan, described the attack, which happened in front of his restaurant.
“The attacker was walking in the street, armed with a knife. He had a lot of blood on his hands. He was walking in the road and stopping at all the shops. He was threatening everyone who crossed his path.”
He added: “He threatened a woman and her companion came to defend her and was threatened as well. Then he moved on to the next restaurant and attacked it. I wasn’t particularly worried, I was under the impression he was mad or drugged up.”
On Sunday, while Macron and his wife Brigitte were taking a bank-holiday break at Fort de Brégançon in the south of France, Collomb held an hour-long emergency security meeting with representatives from the security services, police and advisers at the interior ministry.
France’s anti-terrorist brigade was investigating the attack and the prosecutor has opened an inquiry into murder linked to a terrorist organisation.