UPDATE: The Associated Press is now reporting that a French prosecutor has identified the attacker as a national of the United Arab Emirates, who entered France on January 26 on a tourist visa.
A machete-wielding terrorist learned today not to bring a machete to a gun fight. The goblin launched his attack at the Carousel de Louvre (a Paris shopping area adjacent to the famous museum). He was thwarted by a French soldier guarding the museum who responded with speed, decisiveness and ballistic aggression.
According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the man — equipped with two machetes — attacked a security patrol near the entrance to the museum on Friday at 9:45AM local time. He threw himself on a soldier, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
The soldier suffered a wound to the scalp. His brother-in-arms let loose five rounds, at least two of which appeared to hit home, stopping the attack.
Paris police chief Michel Cadot confirmed that the attacker was alive, in custody, seriously wounded. He had two backpacks on his person. Despite earlier concerns, no explosives were found.
No official word on motive at this time, although French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said it was “Obviously a terrorist attack.” The anti-terrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office took over the investigation.
The soldiers appear to have been patrolling the Louvre as part of Operation Sentinel, a large French security operation involving 10,000 soldiers. It ed launched after the Islamic terrorist attack on the offices of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and then resumed after the Islamic terrorist attack on the Paris concert in October 2015 that left over one hundred people dead.
According to a 2016 article in the Washington Post, the soldiers deployed in the operation are protecting significant landmarks, as well as synagogues, Jewish schools and “certain mosques after an increase in Islamophobic incidents.”
The commitment in French firepower to this operation is rather high: “[f]or the first time since the end of the Cold War, the number of French army soldiers actively deployed in metropolitan France roughly equals that of overseas operations.”
There’s not much to add to the story beyond the fact that (if you somehow didn’t already know it) there’s no such thing as condition white anymore. If you’re a law-abiding citizen who owns a gun and knows how to fight with it, carry it wherever you may legally do so.
Oh, and no Indiana Jones clip here. This one just felt more appropriate. Aux armes, citoyens.