Man brandishing knife arrested at Eiffel Tower

Posted August 07, 2017

Sources told RFI that the unidentified man shouted "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" in Arabic - during the incident.

The incident at the world-famous tourist site was initially treated as a criminal matter, but was later designated a counter-terrorism case because of the suspect's statements to police and his apparent radicalization, the source said.

A young French man who recently was discharged from a psychiatric hospital is under investigation for glorifying terrorism after he brandished a knife and tried to breach security at the Eiffel Tower, authorities said Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017.

City authorities plan to replace the makeshift barriers now surrounding the Eiffel Tower with bulletproof glass walls on two sides, and metal fences on the other two.

According to Reuters, the suspect told police he wanted to attack a soldier and that he'd been communicating with the Islamic State, who encouraged him to go ahead with the attack.

He was carrying a knife, the source close to the investigation said.

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The incident happened about half an hour before the Tower normally stops admitting visitors.

France has been on high alert since a series of terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that left more than 230 people dead.

The suspect quickly surrendered after he was surrounded by security forces.

French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower was lit up on Saturday night in the colors of the Paris-Saint Germain soccer club and with lights welcoming star Brazilian striker Neymar to the team.