Ramadan in Paris: Knife-Wielding Man in Djeballa Attacks Customer Leaving Supermarket with Beer
Shocking footage from supermarket security camera captures moment customer escapes potentially deadly knife attack.
Footage obtained by French news magazine, Le Point, appears to show an attempted knife attack committed by a man in traditional Islamic garb at the entrance of a Parisian supermarket Tuesday evening.
Casually leaving the supermarket with a case of beer in hand, the images show the customer recoiling and using his arm to protect his face and neck when confronted with the potentially life-ending situation. A friend then grabs the aggressor by the neck, pushing him away momentarily, before the confrontation continues outside.
The attack took place around 9pm Tuesday evening in Paris’ 13th arrondissement, a residential neighborhood just south of the city’s main attractions.
Whether or not the attacker, who appears to hesitate or lose confidence at the moment of the attack, changes his mind at the last minute is not clear. More certain is the lucky escape of his victim, who can be seen quickly picking up his beer from the supermarket floor.
The attacker, taking flight seconds after being confronted was quickly identified and arrested by police at a friend’s apartment in the north of the city. Le Point reports that according to their sources the aggressor was not on the government’s radicalization watch list and that for now, the crime is not being investigated as terrorist related. Police are reportedly investigating a motive and whether or not the attacker knew his victim.
The mode of attack, however, would correspond with those called for in the propaganda materials of Islamic extremist organizations, and the knifeman’s Salafist style of dress, including long djeballa is often a tell-tale sign of radicalization.
Numerous incidents of Muslims harassing and threatening non-Muslims have been reported during recent Ramadans in Europe, normally taking the form of abuse or violence against those eating or drinking in public places, such as restaurants or bar terraces.
As a cultural phenomenon, Ramadan appears to have quickly surpassed Lent, the 40-day period of fasting traditionally observed by Christians in the weeks leading up to Easter. Work places routinely issue guidelines to employees asking them to avoid eating or drinking in front of Muslim colleagues during the sun-up to sun-down fast and to make allowance for tiredness and confusion caused by the lack of food and water.
Whilst incidents such as those described above represent only a tiny minority of those observing the Muslim fast, they serve to exacerbate tensions already brewing beneath the surface on a continent where two very different belief systems are increasingly finding themselves on top of one another.