Aggression at Gare de Lyon: the assailant indicted for “aggravated attempted murder”

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The suspect, identified as Kassogue S., was charged on Tuesday with “attempted aggravated murder” and presented before a judge following the opening of a judicial investigation for “attempted murder and violence with a weapon, aggravated by the circumstance that the acts were preceded, accompanied, or followed by statements establishing, because of their real or supposed belonging, to an alleged race, ethnicity, nation, or determined religion,” as reported by Le Figaro. The suspect faces a possible life sentence for the crime. The public prosecutor’s office has stated that the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office, the competent authority to qualify an act as terrorist, has been informed of the various elements of the case but has concluded at this stage that the criteria were not met to take jurisdiction.

According to information from the prosecutor’s office, the assailant’s statements and investigations on his phone led to the consideration that he committed the crime with the intention of “targeting French people” due to their nationality. The assailant is alleged to have stabbed a man in the abdomen and struck him twice on the head with a hammer at 7:30 am. The victim’s condition was critical, with two other people also injured in the attack.

The suspect was first apprehended by passersby before being taken into custody by the railway police and subsequently handed over to the regular police. Regarding the suspect, it was revealed that he arrived in France legally with a residence permit obtained in 2019 in Italy, allowing him to travel within the European Union. Following his arrest, the police focused on a TikTok account registered under his name, where the profile picture depicted a bearded, bespectacled black man with short hair.

In one video dated December 2, 2023, the account owner wrote an enigmatic message, “RIP in three months, may Allah welcome me into his paradise.” Other videos on the account expressed resentment towards France, particularly referencing the French military intervention in Mali with statements such as, “Africa should never forgive France.” During his questioning, Kassogue S. criticized France’s colonial past.

Prior to his arrival in France, he had been receiving treatment at a mental health center in the province of Turin, Italy, with medications and a hospital appointment ticket found in his possession. Due to his psychiatric condition, which was deemed incompatible with police custody, he was transferred to a psychiatric facility after a night and morning of medical observation following the initial release. The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office has stated that the case does not currently meet the criteria for their jurisdiction.

The suspect made statements and his phone suggested that he attacked people because they were French. He is facing serious charges and the victim’s condition is critical. Other individuals were also injured in the attack, but one has been released from the hospital.

The suspect legally entered France from Italy and was under psychiatric care in Turin. The investigation revealed a TikTok account expressing resentment towards France as well as references to Allah and Africa. The suspect’s psychiatric condition led to his transfer from police custody to a psychiatric facility.

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