Authorities say they believe the man who attacked soldiers in front of Paris’ Louvre Museum on Friday is a 29-year-old Egyptian national who traveled to the French capital from Dubai.
Authorities have not yet formally confirmed his name or full identity.
The assailant, who was holding a machete in each hand when he attacked a group of soldiers, was foiled and shot up to five times. Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters at a news conference Friday night that the attacker has been hospitalized but remains in life-threatening condition.
While the attacker was not carrying any identity papers during the attack, investigators used his cell phone to determine his identity. Officials also established that the 29-year-old had arrived in Paris from Dubai on January 29 on a valid one-month tourist visa.
He is reported to have purchased the two machetes at a Paris gun store two days after arriving.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the targeted soldier was slightly injured in the attack but “is doing well” and would rejoin his regiment by the evening.Prosecutor praises Louvre soldiers’ quick reaction
Molins praised the French security forces’ quick reactions in putting an end to “a terror attack” targeting one of Paris’ most iconic tourist attractions.
“Everything shows the assailant was very determined,” Moline said.
Onlookers reported that he shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) before attacking.
French President Francois Hollande said there was “no doubt” that Friday’s attack was of a “terrorist nature,” and insisted the incident showed the need for increased security measures amid a series of terror attacks. Over the past two years, Islamist attacks in France have left more than 200 people dead.
Speaking to reporters at the EU summit in Malta, Hollande said the attacker would be questioned “when it is possible to do so.” However, reports suggest the Egyptian national may be close to death.
Paris raids underway following Louvre attack
According to news agency Reuters, Paris police carried out a series of raids across the French capital on Friday evening. While officials have refused to disclose the precise locations of the raids, police union official Luc Poignant said one of the raids took place on a street just off the city’s famed Champs-Elysees Avenue.