Driver targets pedestrians after he is unable to find soldiers or police
December 22, 2014
A driver screamed “Allah is Great” before running down pedestrians in Dijon, France on Sunday.
Eleven people were injured in five different attacks, two seriously.
“He ran over as many people as he could in a Renault Clio, and many are suffering with very serious head injuries,” police said.
A Twitter post, allegedly from ISIS supporters, praised the attack. The tweet displayed a photo of a man killed by police during an attack on Saturday.
— widtvoet (@widtvoet) December 22, 2014
Translation: “Supporters #ISIS boast ‘the courage of brother Bilal al- Faransi.’ He tried to kill pedestrians in Dijon Sunday.”
According to Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet, the man man was a psychiatric patient.
In addition to screaming “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great,” the suspect also said his act was “For the Children of Palestine,” a reference to the death of more than 500 children in the occupied Gaza Strip during the summer.
Despite the political references to Gaza and Allah, French prosecutor Marie-Christine Tarare said the incident “is absolutely not a terrorist act.” She said the suspect had a “long-lasting and severe psychological disorder.”
The daily French Le Figaro reported Monday the suspect planned to attack soldiers and police but when he couldn’t find any attacked pedestrians instead.
On Saturday a knife-wielding French national originally from Burundi, Bertrand Nzohabonayo, wounded three police officers outside a police station in Joue-les-Tours. Police shot the man dead.
Nzohabonayo, a recent convert to Islam, was known to police for petty crimes.
“There are grounds to probe whether he (Nzohabonayo) acted alone , whether he followed orders, or whether it was a mindless action,” said Tours prosecutor Jean-Luc Beck.
In November, a video attributed to the Islamic State called for attacks on French citizens. The video was released and publicized by the SITE Intelligence Group.
SITE received financial support from the U.S. government, has worked with the FBI, and has at least one senior adviser connected to the RAND Corporation on its staff.
This article was posted: Monday, December 22, 2014 at 9:46 am