A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” was detained by French police after he tried to enter a courthouse in a Paris suburb and slashed the throat of a man, the BFMTV news network reported Friday.
The Paris police confirmed the incident but did not immediately comment on the report that the attacker was shouting Islamic radical slogans.
“One of them approached a person at the entrance of the courthouse and cut their throat with a blade, injuring one person in the throat,” a police official said, according to BFMTV.
The attacker was detained by security forces at the courthouse, which is located in the suburb of Saint-Denis and is a major transport hub, and is the location of many high-profile arrests.
All of France’s Western embassies in Paris issued messages of caution for citizens there and throughout France, and urged them to take additional measures if necessary to protect themselves and their properties.
“Acts of violence, at their most serious, can often occur in broad daylight,” the statements said. “Any one in the service of France is therefore responsible for taking immediate precautions to protect themselves and their properties.”
As at almost every major news story in the world, people began sharing the report on social media, and noted the potential irony of a nearby courthouse defending the values of the French Republic against a man clad in a head-to-toe black-and-white-striped robe.
“When would the freedom fighters turn into terrorists?” tweeted Emmanuel Laberge, a 20-year-old student.