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4 Feb, 2020 11:15

Radicalizing troops? 19yo rookie soldier named suspect in French police station knife attack, after ISIS threat phone call

Radicalizing troops? 19yo rookie soldier named suspect in French police station knife attack, after ISIS threat phone call

A 19-year old serviceman was named a suspect in the attack on a gendarmerie station in France, which took place after police received a threat of a massacre in the name of Islamic State.

The suspect was “a young soldier who was completing his two months of initial training and was on probation,” Defense Minister Florence Parly confirmed on Tuesday. She added that the man was not on duty during the attack.

The prosecutor in the northeastern city of Metz Christian Mercuri told reporters that the 19-year-old alleged culprit joined the army in early December.

The knifeman wounded a gendarme at the local station in Dieuze, not far from Metz, on Monday. He himself was shot twice by the same officer and hospitalized. Several hours before the attack, the local gendarmerie received a phone call, in which a man said that he was a soldier and an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) member, and warned about an incoming “carnage” in the jihadist group’s name. The possible link between the suspect and the caller has not been confirmed as of yet.

Also on rt.com Knife-wielding man shot in France at gendarmerie barracks after attacking officer

The incident has renewed questions whether the authorities are effective in monitoring and weeding out potential radicals. “This radicalized individual was not detected in time. The dysfunction [of the government] is serious and a threat to our security,” Eric Ciotti, a lawmaker from the center-right ‘the Republicans’ party, wrote on Twitter.

Former convict Cherif Chekatt, who went on a rampage and killed five people in Strasbourg in 2018, was on terrorist watch when he committed the crime. Likewise, Salah Abdeslam, one of the masterminds behind the deadly 2015 attack on the Bataclan theater in Paris, had a long criminal history.

Last month, a senior member of the Syrian Islamist militant group Jaysh al-Islam was detained after having entered France on an Erasmus student visa, according to AFP.

Also on rt.com French police shoot man wielding knife & yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’

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