A man who was shot and critically wounded by a French soldier outside the Louvre in Paris has been identified as a 29-year-old Egyptian national.
According to French Prosecutor Francois Molins, the Egyptian arrived in Paris from Dubai on a one-month tourist visa in January.
Molins said that while the Egyptian was carrying no identity papers, his mobile phone showed he arrived in Paris on 26 January. However, Molins refused to name the suspect, adding that they have not formally established his identity.
Despite not being named by French authorities, private Egyptian media outlets have published the name and photograph of the suspect. Egyptian Streets will not be publishing his identity until French authorities confirm it. However, social media accounts of the Egyptian suspect reviewed by Egyptian Streets showed that the suspect last tweeted just before the attack.
“No negotiations, no compromise…No retreat, relentless war,” tweeted the Egyptian suspect, who has been living in Dubai for several years.
Despite the accusations, the father’s suspect claims that his son is innocent, adding that the French soldiers wrongfully opened fire on his son.
Nevertheless, French authorities say that a French soldier opened fire after he attacked two other French soldiers with a machete while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”). While the Egyptian suspect was also carrying a bag, no explosives were found inside. The bag contained paint spray cans, announced the French prosecutor.
Following the attack, French authorities said they believe the man was intending to carry out a terrorist attack.
“We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident,” said the head of Paris’ police force in a statement to the media at the time.
The attack forced the Louvre to shut down temporarily. Nearby metro lines were also shut down by police as they searched the area.
France has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks in recent years. The majority of attacks, which included the November 2015 Paris attacks that claimed more than 120 lives, were perpetrated by ISIS sympathizers.