Counter-terrorism investigation launched into Eiffel Tower knifeman

Chinese tourists detained in Berlin for Hitler salute

Chinese tourists detained in Berlin for Hitler salute

A man arrested last night (5 August) trying to force his way into the Eiffel Tower with a knife told authorities he wanted to attack a French soldier and had links to Isis, according to a security source.

The alleged terrorist, of 19 years old, was captured when violating at 23:30 local time on August 5 one of the controls for access to the facility when he shouted of "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the biggest), and a knife was seized with which he allegedly meant to attack the guards.

The incident 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 radicalisation, the source said.

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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.

An investigation is now open, with the man's motives not yet known.

The man, a Frenchman born in 1998 in Mauritania living in the Val-d'Oise (northern suburbs of Paris), was "very quickly mastered and arrested" without causing any injuries, the report said.

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After the arrest, police at the site checked the venue and called for it to be evacuated at around 00:30, 15 minutes before the Eiffel Tower normally closes, the statement added.

France has been under a highly sensitive situation since the November 2015 assaults in the capital that left 130 individuals dead.

A screen near the bottom of the tower displayed a message welcoming Brazilian star Neymar to the club.

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