Lyon station attack: the suspect wanted to “attack French people”, according to the prosecutor’s office

The 32-year-old Malian who injured three people with a knife on Saturday morning at Gare de Lyon in Paris wanted to "attack French people", according to the first elements of the investigations, the Paris prosecutor's office reported on Tuesday February 6

Lyon station attack: the suspect wanted to “attack French people”, according to the prosecutor’s office

The 32-year-old Malian who injured three people with a knife on Saturday morning at Gare de Lyon in Paris wanted to "attack French people", according to the first elements of the investigations, the Paris prosecutor's office reported on Tuesday February 6.

“The statements of the accused, like the exploitation of his telephone, led to the conclusion that he had committed his act to attack French people, because of their belonging to the nation,” wrote in a communicated the prosecution, which opened a judicial investigation for “assassination attempts”.

The assailant was arrested on Saturday morning and then placed in police custody, but this was interrupted on Saturday evening because the behavioral examination had revealed “a psychiatric state incompatible with the measure of restraint”. He had been taken care of by the psychiatric infirmary of the Police Prefecture. His custody was able to resume at the end of the day on Sunday. Despite the intervention of passers-by, then security agents and the railway police, who were able to quickly stop him, he injured three people, one of whom, the most seriously injured, was still in hospital on Sunday between the life and death.

Hostile remarks against France and the French

Born in 1992, he benefited from “subsidiary protection” – a status issued when a person does not meet all the conditions for the right to asylum – acquired in Italy in 2016. Installed in the province of Turin, he “followed care in a mental health center", according to the prefect of police, Laurent Nuñez. Medicines were also found on him.

One element focuses the attention of investigators: on a TikTok account in the name of the attacker, a man with a beard, shaved hair and glasses makes comments hostile to France and the French, whom he accuses of having “looted” his country during the colonial period; or to Emmanuel Macron, presented as a “criminal” or a “terrorist”, who would have “chosen the camp of Satan” and left Mali “at the mercy of the jihadists”.

Throughout his videos, he makes remarks of the order of conspiracy, evoking the role of Chad “manipulated by France” in Mali, or the financing by France of Maghreb countries to prevent African immigration. In a video posted in early December, he said, “R.I.P. [rest in peace] in three months, may Allah welcome me into his paradise”, an element which could suggest premeditation of his actions.