Drama in Romans-sur-Isère, in Drôme, this Saturday. A man was arrested after spreading panic in the city center, stabbing several passers-by. Two people died and five were injured, including three seriously. The alleged perpetrator attacked several people in a business and on the street before being arrested around 11 a.m., a source close to the investigation said. Saturday evening, the anti-terrorist prosecution announced Saturday in a statement to open an investigation including “assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal criminal criminals association”.
According to our sources, the suspect declared that his name is Ahmed O., born in 1987. The alleged perpetrator has had a residence permit since January 2017 and has refugee status. An emergency police crew made the arrest. Without identity documents, he declared his name as Ahmed O., born in 1987 in Sudan and, under this identity, he is unknown to the police.
The PNAT added that during a search of his home were found “handwritten documents with religious overtones in which the author of the lines complains in particular of living in a country of disbelievers”.
The National Counter-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office “under evaluation”
One of the two victims who died was a downtown butcher. The Lyon judicial police first took up the investigation and the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat), in conjunction with the Valence Public Prosecutor’s Office, was “currently under evaluation” to find out if it was seizing the investigation . According to France Info, which relies on a judicial source, a second person was arrested and the suspect’s home was searched.
Armed with a knife, the alleged perpetrator “went to a tobacconist” whose boss he attacked, told the Agence France-Presse Marie-Hélène Thoraval, the mayor of the town. “His wife intervened and was injured too,” she said. The assailant subsequently “went to another business, a butcher’s shop, where he grabbed a new knife”, before continuing his deadly hike in the center of this city of 35,000 inhabitants, via Gailly and Jean-Jaurès squares. “He entered the shop. He took a knife, jumped over the counter, and planted a client, then ran away, “explains Agence France-Presse Ludovic Breyton, the owner of the establishment where a person was killed . “My wife tried to help the victim, to no avail. The man then continued his mad rush in the city center, attacking passers-by, especially in front of a bakery. “Those who were unlucky enough to be in his way were attacked,” added the mayor. The second person who was killed had just gone out into the street to open its shutters, according to a witness.
Among the five injured, three seriously injured victims are now “perfectly stable”, said the private hospital Drôme-Ardèche (HPDA), after having been operated on “for serious vascular wounds” for one, for “a chest wound and digestive “for the second and” a chest and liver injury “for the third.
Christophe Castaner on site
The accused was arrested without resistance very quickly after the fact, shortly after 11 a.m. “We do not yet know the motivations for this attack,” said Romans town hall, Hélène Thoraval, in a press release. According to witnesses quoted by the radio France Bleu Drôme Ardèche, the assailant would have shouted “Allah Akbar” while rushing on his victims. He would have asked the police who arrested him to “kill him,” according to David Olivier Reverdy, deputy national secretary of Alliance national police. “All the ingredients for a terrorist act are there for us,” he added on BFM TV.
On Twitter, after the attack, Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, indicated that “all [ses] thoughts go to the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack and their relatives ”. “The alleged perpetrator was arrested by the national police. The DIPJ of Lyon is mobilized, under the authority of justice, to establish the nature and the circumstances of this heinous act ”, also wrote the Minister. Emmanuel Macron also reacted, shortly before 3 p.m. “My thoughts are with the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack, the injured, their families. All the light will be shed on this odious act which comes to mourn our country already hard hit these last weeks ”, he affirmed. Emmanuel Macron “was warned around 12 noon by the Minister of the Interior” Christophe Castaner, said his entourage. The head of state is “in constant contact with the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior”, who visited the site in the afternoon.
From Romans-sur-Isère, the minister praised “the security forces [qui] knew how to react like they do every day and every night. ” If he mentioned the “terrorist journey” of the alleged assailant, Christophe Castaner stressed that it will be up to the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) and “alone” to “decide on the terrorist qualification or not”.
All my thoughts go out to the victims of the attack on # RomansSurIsère and their loved ones.– Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) April 4, 2020
The alleged perpetrator was arrested by the @National Police.
The DIPJ of Lyon is mobilized, under the authority of Justice, to establish the nature and the circumstances of this heinous act.
My thoughts are with the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack, the injured, their families. All the light will be shed on this odious act which comes to mourn our country already hard hit in recent weeks.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 4, 2020
Adrien Quatennens’ “cold anger”
“In the midst of a health crisis, the knife attacks continue: barbarism and cowardice to the end,” tweeted LR president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional council, Laurent Wauquiez. Calling the attack an “Islamist attack”, Marine Le Pen asked the government in a tweet to “absolutely stop emptying prisons and reception centers for asylum seekers”. “Tragedies will still occur if this irresponsible policy continues!” […] Our leaders will have to report to the French on this immigration policy without control and without limit, “she added. “All my thoughts go out to the two murdered innocents, […] wounded and their relatives in Romans-sur-Isère. Thank you to the police for arresting this Islamist terrorist, a Sudanese asylum seeker. This crazy and dangerous migration policy must stop! “Also tweeted Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, president of Debout la France.
“Another bloody Islamist attack by a Sudanese asylum seeker. Unhappy victims that we think of, and the madness of a wide open migration policy that puts the French at every moment in danger! Added Florian Philippot, president of the Les Patriotes party. Éric Ciotti, LR deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes, expressed his “emotion”, his “anger at the deadly knife attack in the Drôme in the middle of a health crisis”. Adrien Quatennens, LFI deputy from the North, said on Twitter his “cold anger after the knife attack on #RomansSurIsere, when the country is already being tested by a serious health crisis. […] Thought moved for the victims and their relatives. Bravo to the officials who arrested the assailant. “” New attack on an Islamist fanatic in Romans-sur-Isère. Thought for families, thanks to the police. Disgust for cowards who kill while thinking of saving themselves, ”wrote Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party, on Twitter.