France | Reflection after the knife attack

(Annecy) The police custody of the author of the knife attack which injured six people in France, including four very young children on Thursday, was extended, when Emmanuel Macron and his wife had just gone to the bedside of the victims, before meeting the people who intervened during the tragedy.

“Stabbing assault in Annecy. The defendant’s custody is extended. No other communication planned for this day as it stands,” informed a laconic tweet from the prosecutor of Annecy (east), Line Bonnet-Mathis, on Friday.

The condition of Abdalmasih H., a Syrian refugee wandering in France after several years of stability in Sweden, was deemed “compatible with police custody” after his psychiatric expertise, indicated for his part a source close to the investigation.

If the psychiatric examination had concluded with the abolition of discernment, police custody would have been lifted and the doctors would have taken over.

The knife attack, which occurred in broad daylight in a busy park in the city by the lake, caused very strong emotion in France.

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron went Friday to the bedside of the victims hospitalized in Grenoble (south-east) before going to Annecy to meet those who brought “help and support” during the tragedy which shook this peaceful city in the Alps on Friday.

The French president and his wife want to be alongside “the victims and their families as well as all the people who in Annecy have contributed to bringing them help and support”, indicated the Elysée.


Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte arrived Friday in Grenoble (south-east) where three of the four injured children are hospitalized.

According to the French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, the four children “were all able to be operated on, they are under permanent medical supervision and their condition is stable”. Government spokesman Olivier Véran had previously indicated that two of the four injured children were still in “vital emergency”.

Three of the injured children were transferred to Grenoble, the fourth to Geneva in Switzerland, after receiving first aid in Annecy. Among the four injured children, aged 22 to 36 months, one is British and another is Dutch.

Since his arrest, a few minutes after the attack on the children, Abdalmasih H. has given no explanation for his gesture and has “obstructed police custody”, in particular by “rolling on the ground”, according to a close source. of the investigation.

“Innocence Under Attack”

At this stage, his motivations seem “without apparent terrorist motive”, according to the Annecy prosecutor’s office.

The ongoing investigation for “attempted assassination” will “determine the motive” of the attacker, the Annecy prosecutor said Thursday, adding that she could “not exclude at this stage a senseless act” .

With no criminal record and no fixed address, this 31-year-old man who lived for ten years in Sweden, had left his family a few months ago to go to France and had been in Annecy since the fall of 2022. When he passed in the act, he was not under the influence of narcotics or alcohol.

This father of a three-year-old child was in a legal situation when he arrived in France a few months ago. In a new asylum application filed in France in November 2022, he declared himself “Christian of Syria”, according to a police source. He was wearing a Christian cross when he was arrested.

The assailant, wearing black shorts and a blue scarf tied over his head, was clearly targeting the children during his deadly attack, according to images of the tragedy authenticated by AFP. We see him in this video raise his arms to the sky and shout in English “in the name of Jesus! “.

The images also show a young man wearing a backpack trying to push him back. Named Henri, he must be one of the people Emmanuel Macron must meet on Friday, according to the Élysée.

An adult was hospitalized after being injured by the attacker and then hit by police fire during the arrest, and another adult was hit more lightly.

In Annecy, dozens of shocked people laid flowers or came to gather in front of the small improvised memorial in the playground. Bouquets of white roses, stuffed animals, candles and messages of support accumulate in front of the wooden castles and slides.

A small improvised altar with candles, white roses and messages was erected Thursday evening in a corner of the playground where the attack took place. “Innocence under attack, what sadness! ! A very moved thought for the little victims and other injured, ”we can read among the handwritten messages.

The attack sparked an avalanche of reactions in the political world, with right-wing and far-right elected officials highlighting the origin and status of the aggressor.

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