‘Failure’ in psychiatric care of Paris attacker: minister

December 05, 2023

PARIS: There was a clear failure in the psychiatric care of the radicalised suffering from mental troubles who stabbed a German tourist to death in central Paris at the weekend before being arrested, France´s interior minister said on Monday.

The attack close to the Eiffel Tower has increased concerns in France over the risk of Islamist attacks, particularly with the French capital now barely half a year away from hosting the 2024 summer Olympic Games.

The attacker was a Frenchman in his mid-20s born to a non-religious Iranian family but who had already done prison time for planning an attack and was known to the authorities as an Islamist radical with mental troubles.

A forensic police officer works at the scene of a stabbing in Paris on December 2, 2023. — AFP

“There was clearly a failure, not from the point of view of his monitoring by the intelligence services, but a psychiatric failure,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told BFM TV, adding that the attacker had an “acute mental illness”.

“Doctors said on several occasions that he was doing better, was more normal and could be free,” he said. Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a French national born in 1997, killed a 23-year-old German-Filipino man with two blows from a hammer and four stab wounds from a knife on Saturday evening close to the Eiffel Tower.

Questioned in custody, he “fully accepts and takes responsibility for his actions” and “everything suggests that he acted alone”, a source close to the investigation, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

He claimed to have acted in “response to the persecution of Muslims around the world” while appearing “very cold and clinical”, the source added. The investigation is being handled by French anti-terror prosecutors who have opened a probe into a suspected “terrorist” plot.