Police in Paris opened fire on a woman in a subway station on Tuesday morning after she reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and threatened to blow herself up.
Sources told local media that the woman made worrying comments to fellow passengers further up the line before arriving at the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand metro station, where she was confronted by officers. The Paris prosecutor’s office said the woman then “refused to obey police officers’ orders and threatened to blow herself up.”
An officer then shot the woman in the stomach, it is said Actu17, and she received medical treatment at the ward before being taken to hospital. “The woman’s vital prognosis is at risk,” said the public prosecutor.
According to Actu 17, the woman not only shouted Allahu Akbar, but also said several times that “everything would explode.” Despite the alleged threats, an explosives squad was reportedly unable to find any explosive devices on the woman or at the crime scene. A police spokesman told Reuters the woman was “fully veiled.”
The woman is currently under investigation for possible charges, including making death threats against police and justifying terrorism. A separate investigation has been launched into the conduct of police officers – a mandatory measure when firearms are used by the country’s law enforcement agencies.
France has been on high alert against the threat of terrorism since a 57-year-old schoolteacher, Dominique Bernard, was stabbed to death in the northern city of Arras on October 13 as he tried to protect his students. Suspect Mohammed Mogouchkov, 20, a former student at the school where the attack took place, was on a police watch list for possible radicalization before the incident.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said there was “no doubt” about a connection between the knife attack and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. But France also suffered numerous high-profile attacks in the last decade before the Middle East conflict escalated. In June, a Syrian refugee injured six people – including four children – in a park in the city of Annecy. And in 2020, another teacher – Samuel Paty – was beheaded by a teenage Islamic terrorist after one of his students falsely accused him of showing his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Depictions of the prophet are widely considered taboo in Islam, and the issue is particularly sensitive in France. According to the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Despite publishing controversial Muhammad cartoons, two Islamist gunmen killed 12 people in the publication’s offices in Paris. Two other people were stabbed outside the magazine’s former headquarters in 2020 after the magazine republished the cartoons.