France The Eiffel Tower attacker targeted a monument honoring Jews

The terrorist threat is increasingly worrying in France and, just eight months before the Olympic Games are held in Paris, there are questions about whether they can be held safely

France The Eiffel Tower attacker targeted a monument honoring Jews

The terrorist threat is increasingly worrying in France and, just eight months before the Olympic Games are held in Paris, there are questions about whether they can be held safely. The concern has worsened after the attack last Saturday in which a German tourist was murdered next to the Eiffel Tower. The alleged murderer, a 26-year-old Frenchman, has been charged with murder and attempted murder and is in preventive detention, in solitary confinement.

In police custody, during this period the alleged murderer acknowledged and claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming that he did it to avenge "Muslims who are being persecuted", especially in Gaza. In principle, as the aggressor has acknowledged, his target was the Jewish community, specifically he planned to attack the children's memorial at the winter velodrome, as police sources have explained to several French media.

This monument, which was inaugurated in 2017, pays tribute to the more than 4,000 Jewish minors who were deported to Auschwitz in July 1942. It was after the largest raid by the Nazis against the Jewish community in the French capital, with the support of the Government of Vichy and the French police.

The memorial is near the Eiffel Tower, where the attack was ultimately carried out. In addition to killing a 23-year-old German tourist, the attacker injured two other people. During his police custody, he also declared that seeing the emblematic Tower with the colors of the Israeli flag was another of the reasons that led him to commit his attack.

France has been on maximum terrorist alert for a month and a half, after the attack perpetrated at an institute in Arras, in the north of the country, in which a teacher was stabbed to death. In both cases, both in Arras and on Saturday, the two attackers had declared their allegiance to the Islamic State. The latter also had psychiatric problems.

In this context, concern and feelings of insecurity are growing among the French: nine out of 10 fear new attacks. The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, wanted to reassure citizens and said that France "will mobilize all possible means" to guarantee security for the Olympic Games to be held next summer: "We will go further if it is necessary," he said in an interview with the newspaper Le Figaro.

Saturday's attack has stirred fear of new attacks and, above all, has revealed the cracks that exist in the control of the thousands of French people who are being monitored for their links with jihadism. In the case of the alleged murderer last Saturday, he had even served time for planning an attack against the Parisian neighborhood of La Défense.