This is Brahim A., the 21-year-old perpetrator of the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. The photo dates from shortly after police officers took him out with several shots. He was seriously injured but not life-threateningly. The man, a Tunisian, ended up in Italy as a refugee last month.
The French gendarmerie could not confirm his identity on Thursday evening because they first want to do additional investigations. Including via fingerprints. Because he had no official papers in his pocket, just a form from the Italian Red Cross.
It states that he was born in Tunisia on 29 March 1999. According to the Italian authorities, he arrived in Italy via Lampedusa at the end of September. After a week in compulsory quarantine, he was released and disappeared. With an order to leave the country.
He is said to have been arrested and photographed by the Bari police on 9 October. Then he was released.
Whether he had been in France for some time and whether he had observed his goal in advance is not yet clear. What is certain is that he acted very boldly and at least one victim, perhaps the sexton, cut the throat with a carving knife.
Shortly after the attack, the police, the anti-terrorist unit had not yet arrived, entered the church from the rear and eliminated the perpetrator with several shots.
(Read more below the video)
As can be seen in the picture, Brahim A., who was not known to the security services, received initial care on the spot before being taken to hospital. While emergency doctors stabilized him and later in the ambulance, he kept shouting ‘Allah Akbar’.
The man lost a lot of blood because he was hit by police bullets several times. Including in his right arm and shoulder, left side and in his thigh. He may be operated on today in the hospital where he is admitted under strict surveillance.
Brahim A. entered the Basilica of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Nice on Thursday morning and stabbed two women and the sexton of the church with a knife. The three victims did not survive the attack.
Tunisia starts investigation
The perpetrator is officially suspected of triple murder in a terrorist context.
The Tunisian public prosecutor’s office has now opened an investigation into the possible involvement of a Tunisian in the knife attack in Nice, France.
The investigation started as soon as there were reports that the perpetrator was a 21-year-old Tunisian who was registered as a migrant on the Italian island of Lampedusa at the end of September and arrived illegally in France in October.
Tunisian law allows for the prosecution of any citizen accused of involvement in an act of terrorism, whether in Tunisia or abroad.