Authorities in France neutralized a knifeman who entered the police headquarters in Reims on Monday afternoon and threatened officers as he shouted “Allahu Akbar.”
According to the French news outlet Actu 17, the suspect parked up outside the building and lingered outside the headquarters brandishing several knives shortly after 1 p.m. local time.
He was tasered by officers before being able to use the weapons and was subsequently placed in police custody.
As a precautionary measure, a bomb squad inspected his vehicle and was given the all-clear.
The attacker was a 47-year-old male and was already known to police, according to Reims public prosecutor François Schneider, but no further details about him have been released by the authorities.
He was arrested for terror-related offenses and for attempted violence against persons holding public authority.
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The police union condemned the “despicable attack attempt” and claimed the police were being targeted because they represent the French state.
“We salute our colleagues and we congratulate them on the arrest of this individual,” said Éric Henry, a spokesperson for the Alliance Police Union.
“Luckily, they got it under control immediately, otherwise, at the very least, a murder could have taken place. The proof is of the importance of also being equipped with intermediate weapons. That demonstrates again and again that the police are targets because they represent the State, and beyond that, the Republic,” he added.
Local Mayor Arnaud Robinet praised the authorities for intervening “before a tragedy occurred.”
“The city of Reims obviously has more than increased vigilance, in conjunction with the departmental director of public security, the prefect, and the rector in matters of terrorist risk,” a press release from his office read.
“This is materialized by vehicle patrols and an increased pedestrian presence around and in the various living areas of the municipality: schools, public services, shopping areas… A show of support therefore also aimed at reassuring the population,” it added.
France Bleu confirmed the ongoing investigation had been entrusted to the Reims judicial police and the city police station.