A 22-year-old Muslim convert has reportedly confessed to the attempted murder of a French soldier in Paris at the weekend.
The subject of an intense manhunt since the Saturday stabbing, the suspect was arrested on Wednesday. Prosecutors claimed he immediately admitted the act, which he said was inspired by his religious teachers and was designed to strike at an “authority figure.”
“I can only underscore the violence of the extremely rapid attack on the soldier. And the fact that the intention at the time was to kill seems very obvious as the perpetrator did not hesitate,” said Paris prosecutor François Molins.
The victim, Cedric Cordiez, has left hospital after the potentially fatal attack, and the authorities’ attention is now turned towards finding out the motivations for it, and at what point the suspect, who has been named as Alexander, may have turned to violence.
“The event took place in a climate of worry and threats, terrorist threats that our country has lived with for a few months now. So we have to be careful,” said French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
He added that said France faced the possibility of dozens, or even hundreds of religiously-motivated and increasingly radicalised petty offenders with the potential to commit similar attacks living on its soil.