French police are not currently treating a fatal double stabbing near Paris as a terrorist attack.A fatal knife attack in a town near Paris is not currently being treated as a terrorism case, the French interior minister says.
A man with severe psychiatric problems killed his mother and sister and seriously injured another woman in a knife attack in Trappes, west of Paris, on Thursday, officials said.
French police shot and killed the man soon afterward.
The Islamic State group, which has a history of opportunistic claims, swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack.
However French authorities weren’t currently treating the morning knife attack as a terrorism case, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said after visiting the scene.
He noted the attacker suffered from serious mental health issues although he had also been flagged for glorifying terrorism.
However, officials were not ruling out a terrorism link in the early stage of the investigation. The prosecutor’s office in Versailles, handling the case, said in a statement on Thursday evening that motive for the killings “remains uncertain.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Frederic de Lanouvelle said until the investigation advances it won’t be 100 per cent clear whether the attack at the family home was strictly a family drama or was linked to terrorism.
Collomb said the man killed his mother at her home and stabbed the other women outside. Still wielding the knife, he then ignored police warnings and was shot and killed, the minister said.
He described the man as “unstable, rather than someone who was engaged, someone who could respond, for example, to orders and instructions from a terrorist organisation, in particular from Daesh (Islamic State).”
Investigators remained at the scene hours after the slayings, taking a bag and satchels from the home.
“It seems, but I can’t confirm 100 percent because the investigation is continuing … that this affair is more a family drama than a terrorist attack,” de Lanouvelle said on the C-News television station.
He said the attacker at one point cried “Allahu akbar (God is great)”. He had lost his job as a bus driver for the RATP public transport authority several years ago for speaking incoherently and “in a troubling way” about Allah.
However, there also was evidence of family tensions, the spokesman said, noting the attacker had filed a complaint against his two sisters last year over an inheritance. The complaint was dismissed.
The prosecutor’s office said another complaint against the attacker, for defending terrorism, also was dismissed, in 2016, for insufficient evidence.