The woman threatened to blow herself up in the latest security incident to hit France since the fatal school stabbing earlier this month.
French police opened fire on a woman at a train station in Paris on Tuesday after she allegedly made death threats and shouted in support of terrorism. The incident comes as the country remains on heightened anti-terrorism alert following a fatal stabbing at a school earlier this month.
According to a police source, officers were called to the scene after passengers reported that the woman was making threats on public transport. The woman, who was wearing a headscarf, allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest) and threatened to blow herself up.
“Police fired because they feared for their safety,” the source told AFP. A single shot was fired, seriously injuring the woman who is now being treated in a Paris hospital.
Officers isolated the woman at a metro and train station that serves the François Mitterrand national library in south-eastern Paris. The station was subsequently evacuated and traffic on the suburban rail line was slowed.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has launched two investigations into the incident. One will consider the woman’s actions, and another will determine whether the police’s use of a firearm was justified.
Police said the woman was dressed in a long robe, known as an abaya, which is mainly worn by Muslims. They are also verifying her identity, as she wasn’t carrying ID papers, but she is thought to have been arrested previously for threatening behavior in 2021 and then hospitalized for apparent mental health problems.
The woman could face potential charges of making death threats, defending terrorism, and intimidating behavior directed at police.
This is the latest major security incident to grip France, which has been on heightened anti-terror alert since a teacher in the northern city of Arras was stabbed to death by a former pupil in what the government called an Islamist terror attack. In that case, the alleged attacker had been under police surveillance on suspicion of Islamic radicalization and declared allegiance to the Islamic State group before the assault.