The Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, center, speaks with police officers after delivering a speech to say counterterrorism authorities are investigating after a knife attack that left at least two dead including the assailant in central Paris, Saturday May 12, 2018. Paris police officers evacuated people from some buildings in the Right Bank neighborhood after the attack, and bar patrons and opera-goers described surprise and confusion. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

French police question parents and friends of Paris attack suspect

Counterterrorism authorities are investigating after a knife attack left at least two dead including the assailant in central Paris

French police on Monday were questioning the parents and a friend of a 20-year-old man who attacked passers-by with a knife in Paris, amid questions about how France’s radical watch list is used.

Khamzat Azimov, a French citizen born in the Russian republic of Chechnya, killed one person and wounded four others in Saturday’s attack, before police fatally shot him. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Azimov’s parents and a friend from the eastern city of Strasbourg were being detained by police. Under French law, people questioned in an investigation relating to alleged terrorism can be taken into custody for up to four days.

A judicial official said Monday the suspect was living in the northern 18th district of Paris with his family, which had previously lived in Strasbourg.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the ongoing investigation.

Related: Paris stabbing spree

Related: Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

Counterterrorism investigators want to know if the assailant had help or co-conspirators.

French authorities said the suspect was on a police watch list for radicalism, but he had a clean criminal record.

Conservative leader Laurent Wauquiez on Sunday criticized the government’s “blindness” and “inaction.” His Republicans party called on centrist President Emmanuel Macron to take measures to “preventively intern the most dangerous individuals” listed as radicalized.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen asked in a tweet what the list was for if it wasn’t used to stop potential attackers.

French authorities have previously explained that the register, designed as a tool for intelligence services, contains the names of thousands of individuals suspected of being radicalized but who have yet to perform acts of terrorism.

French Interior minister Gerard Collomb will hold a meeting with France’s prefects in charge of defence and security later Monday.

Azimov obtained French nationality in 2010. He was born in the largely Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya, where extremism has long simmered. Chechens have been among the numerous foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, some joining the Islamic State cause early in the fighting.

French media report the victim killed in the attack was a 29-year-old man identified only by his first name, Ronan, who was living in the 13th district of Paris. One of his neighbours told reporters he was a “very smiling” man, with a “great generosity.”

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rod Peters throws hat in the ring for mayor

Local businessman says current council too complacent

Cowichan Valley invited to take a Coffee Break to support local dementia services

Funds raised at the events will help support local programs and services

Friendship Cup gets high school field hockey going

Cowichan beats Shawnigan in shootout to win Premier Division

Making government more accessible a priority for Lake Cowichan mayoral candidate Bob Day

Long-time councillor will run against incumbent Ross Forrest and Rod Peters

Chris Wilkinson column: Priority filtering: how to avoid running yourself ragged

Our lives are so busy and have zero room for the unexpected.

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

Tofino Bus launches new shipping service for Vancouver Island businesses

Affordable, same day and next day freight options are available.

First Nations block roads to stop the moose hunt in B.C.’s Interior

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Tent city campers now allowed to stay in B.C. provincial park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no deadline for campers to leave Greater Victoria camp site

Most Read