A woman dressed in full Islamic dress who was threatening to blow herself up at a Paris railway station has been hospitalized with gunshot wounds after being neutralized by police.
Authorities were alerted to an escalating incident at Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand station in the French capital shortly after 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday morning after two passengers reported an unstable woman shouting death threats.
“The two passengers reported exactly the same facts,” said Laurent Nuñez of the Paris police prefect during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
“They described a lady who wore a full veil, who made a number of threatening remarks, talking about committing an attack, using words like ‘You’re all going to die’, ‘Allahu akbar’, and ‘Boom,'” he added, as cited by French broadcaster BFM TV.
Opération de police à la BNF : des détonations ont été entendues dans le quartier.— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) October 31, 2023
La police a ouvert le feu à plusieurs reprises en direction de la personne menaçante qui a été blessée à l’abdomen et évacuée par les pompiers. @CLPRESSFR pic.twitter.com/faOQJTNYi2
Around half an hour later, anti-terrorism police confronted the suspect at the station and demanded she sit on the ground while a perimeter was cordoned off around her.
“At one point, she got up and walked towards the police officers,” Nuñez told the press, reiterating that the suspect’s “body was completely concealed.”
Despite a number of warnings from police responders who ordered the suspect not to move and to show her hands, the woman refused to comply, prompting firearms officers to discharge their weapons and inflict a gunshot wound to the suspect’s stomach.
After securing the scene, the suspect was rushed to a hospital in the Ile-de-France region where she remains in critical condition, the Paris public prosecutor confirmed.
Authorities confirmed that the suspect gave a name to hospital staff upon her arrival, which corresponded to a 38-year-old woman of French nationality. The authenticity of the identity given is being corroborated by police.
Nuñez confirmed that the identity given pertains to a woman who was already known to police for Islamist activity, most notably in July 2021 when she was arrested for being in possession of a screwdriver and making threats against French soldiers from Opération Sentinelle, an ongoing French military operation established to increase security across the country in the wake of a rise in Islamist terror attacks.
An investigation into the incident, which involves the input of the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office, remains ongoing.