Two Young Women Were Stabbed To Death By An Alleged ISIS Supporter Outside Of Marseille’s Saint Charles Train Station
by Heather Cassell
Two young women and a suspected terrorist are dead after two attacks at Marseille’s Saint Charles train station October 1.
A man in his late-20s or early 30’s of what appeared to be of North African descent was shot dead by French soldiers on guard at Marseille’s main train station while shouting “Allahu akbar” (God is Greatest) witnesses told reporters, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The man reportedly killed two unidentified young women, 17 and 20, at two separate times. The first victim’s throat was slashed while the other victim was stabbed in the stomach.
President Emmanuel Macron was “deeply outraged” calling Sunday’s incident a “barbarous act” while paying tribute to the soldiers and police officers who responded to the incident “with [a] cool head and efficiency,” reported the Times.
The attacker fled the train station after the first attack, but returned for the second attack, Gerard Collomb, the interior minister of France, told reporters. The attack occurred outside of the station by a bench.
The soldiers were already stationed at the train station as a part of Operation Sentinelle, which oversees 7,000 troops patrolling the streets surrounding significant sites in France’s ongoing state of emergency since the deadly extremist attacks in Paris in 2015.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took credit for the attack on Amaq, the jihadist militant group’s news outlet. It’s unclear if the attacker is connected to ISIS, but the group is known to take credit for militant attacks inspired by its ideology.
ISIS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi called for an increase in attacks in a recent purported video by him, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The investigation is ongoing and police have many questions about the man and his motivation for the attack.
A counter-terrorism investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office in response to the attack. The office oversees all terrorism cases in France.
If the incident is determined to be a terrorist attack, it will be the eight since 2015 and it fits into the pattern of recent attacks. In recent years, terrorist attacks have been carried out by individuals who appear to have a deep hatred for French authority and are inspired by ISIS propaganda, reports the Times.
Prior to the attack the young man had a record for petty offences, reports French media. Police are questioning the man’s actions killing the first victim, running away, and returning to kill the second victim.
Collomb said the assailant’s behavior was “strange” and is a “point of inquiry,” according to media reports.
This is the second attack at the same train station in two months. Last month, four American female college students were attacked by a mentally ill woman throwing acid on them. The attack wasn’t considered a terrorist attack.
Saint Charles train station was evacuated and closed for several hours with police and soldiers stationed outside following the attack. Marseille police issued a warning for people to avoid the area informing the public that an incident occurred.
Trains partially returned to service as the station semi-opened late Sunday afternoon.
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