Three Sudanese refugees detained after the latest terror attack in France
Three Sudanese refugees were in custody in France today following the first terrorist attack in Europe during the Coronavirus lockdown – raising fears that they were part of an ISIS-style cell.
One, identified as 33-year-old Abdallah A.O, stabbed two people to death and severely wounded seven others during a bloody rampage in the French town of Romans-sur-Isère, south of Lyon, on Saturday.
He then wanted police to shoot him dead, as he screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’- Arabic for God is the Greatest – but was instead arrested.
Detectives later found extremist literature in his house, including a complaint by Abdallah that he hated ‘living in a country of non-believers’.
On Sunday, anti-terrorism prosecutors confirmed that a two other Sudanese refugees who were ‘close friends’ of the perpetrator had also been arrested.
One lived in the same house in Romans-sur-Isère, while another was based nearby.
All are thought to have entered France in early 2017, and were seeking asylum having complained about persecution in the east African country.
Now investigators are trying to work out whether they made up a terrorist cell linked to extremist Islamists in Sudan.
Abdallah was granted refugee status on June 29, 2017 and was given a ten-year residence permit in July of the same year.
His attack on Saturday corresponded to numerous suicidal knife attacks carried out by Islamic State-linked terrorists in France in recent years.
It lasted just under 15 minutes, and saw Abdallah murder a 55-year-old butcher with his own knife, as well as 44-year-old waiter.
Among the most seriously wounded was Serge Founier, who was attacked in his own tobacco shop. ‘I’m still in shock but I’m trying to keep my spirits up,’ Mr Founier said from his hospital bed on Sunday.
His partner, Ghislaine Auclair, was also injured, and is recovering at home. None of the other victims have yet been named.
France has been on Coronavirus lockdown for 20 days, meaning that anyone on the street has to have documentation.
This has made the country as vulnerable to terrorist attack as ever, especially as police and soldiers are stretched enforcing the lockdown.
Among those knifed by Abdallah were people standing in a queue outside a bakers.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutors said Abdallah had been seeking asylum in the country despite ‘complaining about living in a country of non-believers’.
A spokesman for the office said: ‘During a search carried out at his home, police found handwritten documents with religious connotation in which the author of the lines complains in particular of living in a country of non-believers.’
The spokesman said an enquiry had been launched into ‘two assassinations and attempted assassinations in relation to a terrorist enterprise.’
The Sudanese are one of the biggest groups seeking asylum in France, with many feeling violence and extreme poverty in the Darfur region, as well as political persecution.
The UK was there preferred destination for many years, but the closure of the so-called ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais made it more difficult to cross the English Channel.
Saturday’s murders follow a series of bomb, gun and knife attacks carried out by Islamic State and al-Qaeda operatives in France, dating back to early 2015
The deadliest single terrorist attack ever in the country came in November 2015 when 130 people were killed in Paris.
Suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIS targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.
Earlier in the year, two Paris-born gunmen linked to Al-Qaeda broke into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 17 people dead inside and three outside.
In July 2016, 86 people were called and more than 400 injured when a 19-tonne truck was deliberately driven into crowds on the seafront promenade at Nice, in the South of France.
The terrorist turned out to be a Tunisian immigrant who was shot dead by police.
During the same month, two Isis terrorists murdered an 86-year-old Catholic priest during a church service in Normandy.
There have been frequent knife attacks on the forces of law and order, leading to the deaths of serving police.
In October of last year, a radicalised computer operative working at the Paris Prefecture stabbed four of his colleagues to death.
The attacker – who was also shot dead – turned out to be a Muslim convert who kept extremist Al-Qaeda and Islamic State literature and images on his computer.
Source: Daily Mail