French authorities maintained that the mass stabbing committed by an African migrant at a Paris train station over the weekend was not an act of terrorism despite the Malian national admitting that he intended to “attack French people”.
The suspected Gare de Lyon train station knife attacker, a 32-year-old man from the West African nation of Mali who entered France legally through the European Union’s internal open borders Schengen system after receiving an Italian residency permit in 2019, was charged on Tuesday with “aggravated assassination attempts”.
According to the Le Figaro newspaper, the suspected attacker, publicly referred to as “Kassogue S.”, admitted to police that his intentions were to “attack French people”.
During the attack on Saturday, three people were left injured, including one man who was left in critical condition after being attacked with a knife and a hammer. Law enforcement officials were quick to blame the attack on “mental health” issues while downplaying the possibility of terrorism.
However, this was apparently undermined by the discovery of the suspected attacker’s TikTok account, in which he expressed support for “pan-Africanism” and expressed anti-colonial sentiments, with the French drawing the brunt of his rage.
In one video, the African migrant said: “I’m not French, I don’t dream of being French, I don’t like France, I hate all French people,” while asserting that “It was the French who took my grandparents hostage for slavery. It was the French who forced my grandparents to do forced labour to be able to settle their accounts, their economy.”
He also expressed support for political violence, saying that “sometimes you have to attack to be able to dominate your own enemy, to be able to scare your enemy, to threaten your enemy.” While police claimed that there were no signs that religion played a role in the attack, video has also emerged of Kassogue saying: “RIP in three months, may Allah welcome me to his paradise”.
Public figures have argued that the attack on French people by an African migrant is a political issue, not merely a mental health one, with former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour saying that the statements from the prosecution “confirmed, several days later, what all French people knew from the start: the attack on Gare de Lyon was indeed Francocide.
“The lucidity of the French will ultimately triumph over the lies of politicians,” Zemmour added.
Paris Train Station Attack: African Suspect Declared ‘I Hate the French’ Prior to Stabbing Spreehttps://t.co/Lm6DiTpsoe
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 4, 2024
Appearing before a judge on Tuesday, prosecutors said that Kassogue “attempted assassination and violence with a weapon, aggravated by the circumstance that the acts which were preceded, accompanied or followed by remarks which establish because of their belonging, true or supposed, to an alleged race, ethnic group, nation or specific religion.”
“The statements of the accused, like the use of his telephone, led us to consider that he had committed his act to attack French people, because of their belonging to the nation,” prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a press release.
Despite this, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office, which is the only authorised body in France to determine whether terrorism charges should be brought forward, said that “the criteria were not met to take action” at present.
The African migrant’s lawyers appear intent on using mental health as a legal defence, with attorney Yassine Yakouti arguing before the judge on Tuesday: “This is not a political issue. The issue in this case will be the state of health of our client.”
African Knifeman Wounds Three People in Paris Train Station Attackhttps://t.co/PYN6XYJbT8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 3, 2024