MARSEILLE, FRANCE – A man known to French authorities as being a Islamic terrorist has been arrested after he allegedly attacked a father of two who was picking up his children from school, repeatedly stabbing the victim in the neck while shouting “in the name of Allah.”
The suspect, whose name has not been released, is said to be a 23 year-old with connections to terrorism and drug trafficking, and his seemingly random, unprovoked attack of the victim – said by officials to be a Military doctor who was picking up his two sons, aged 3 and 7, from their Catholic school in Marseille – left the man severely injured.
The victim, whose name is also being withheld, was rushed to a local area hospital in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest, where he is listed in critical condition, police say. The suspect was wrestled to the ground and held down by bystanders until police arrived at the scene and placed him under arrest.
The suspect’s motive for the attack is not yet currently known, although witnesses reported that he was yelling “in the name of Allah” while carrying out the deed; some media outlets have stated the individual had “psychological issues” and was scheduled to undergo a psychological examination to determine his state of mind.
However, other news services have alleged that the attack was likely motivated by religious differences, pointing out verse 47:4 in the Quran that states “So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks.”
“After searching the author’s home, we can definitely rule out the terrorist hypothesis,” the source told a French news agency, specifying that there was nothing to report on a religion or radicalization motive.
The Islamic faith is one of the fastest-growing in France; currently, 8.8 percent of its population is Muslim – with Islam now being the country’s second-largest religion – and authorities have noted an increase in attacks by radical Islamists in recent years, with public officials calling for greater police presence in order to ensure the public’s safety.