Paris attacker was carrying German phone card, identity not clear

A man who attacked a Paris police station Thursday with a meat cleaver and fake explosive belt was carrying a mobile phone with a German SIM card, public prosecutor Francois Molins told French radio station France Inter.

The identity of the man, who was shot dead outside of a Paris police station, still isn't clear, Molins said. Authorities found a handwritten document on his body, which claimed that he was from Tunisia, while the man had previously said he was from Morocco during an unrelated police check.

The incident - coming exactly one year after the Charlie Hebdo attacks - immediately prompted fears of terrorism in a city that has endured two sensational attacks in the last year.

Using his fingerprints, authorities identified the attacker as a man who claimed to be from Morocco during a police investigation related to a theft in Cote d'Azur in 2013. At the time, he told authorities he was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1995. In the handwritten document found on his body Thursday, he claimed to be from Tunisia.

In the document, he said he decided to attack because of "the deaths that are going on in Syria at the moment."

The police involved in the shooting of the man acted appropriately and out of self-defence, telling the man to stop moving towards them several times, Molins said.

The German Interior Ministry declined to comment on a possible link to Germany and the French investigations, but added that security agencies in both countries are working together closely.

Separately on Thursday, according to new reports, a man armed with a knife was shot dead after he attacked a police officer and a civilian, but there was no sign the cases were linked.

One year ago on the day, a pair of terrorists attacked the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the first incident in three days of terror in Paris that ultimately saw 17 civilian deaths, along with the deaths of three attackers killed as police closed in on them.

Then, on November 13, a team of terrorists launched coordinated strikes against bars, a theatre and a football stadium, causing 130 deaths.

Last update: Fri, 08/01/2016 - 14:44
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