METZ, France — A Muslim man attempted to strangle a police officer in France on Friday while yelling the Islamic slogan “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “Allah is great.”
According to The Telegraph, the man had been arrested for theft in a bag snatching incident, and while incarcerated over the matter, asked a police officer for a glass of water.
When the officer opened the man’s prison cell, the 23-year-old, whose name has not yet been released, lunged at the officer while yelling “Allahu Akbar.” Other members of law enforcement who saw the incident unfolding on a nearby monitor then came running to help their colleague.
“The doctor who treated him (the officer) said that just a few seconds more and it would have been too late,” Michael Philippart of the SGP FO police union told the publication L’Est Républicain.
The assault follows several other similar events that have occurred in France in recent weeks, including a situation in the city of Joue-les-Tours, where 20-year-old Bertrand Nzohabonayo entered a police station with a knife and began attacking officers while likewise yelling the common Islamic saying.
“He was banging on the fittings [of the door], so the officers opened [the door] to see what he was doing, and he immediately threw himself at my colleagues, stabbing one in the hand, and attacking the second on the neck and face,” Christophe Crepin told France 2 TV.
Others who witnessed the attack said that Nzohabonayo “shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ from the moment he entered until his last breath.” He had posted a photograph of the Islamic flag on his Facebook page prior to the attack.
Nzohabonayo was shot dead, and three police officers were injured in the incident.
Reports also state that last week, a man plowed the vehicle he was driving into a crowd in the city of Dijon, injuring thirteen. He also yelled “Allahu Akbar” and “for the children of Palestine” as he committed the act, although prosecutors claim that the man was mentally ill.
“We are all concerned about this series of tragedies,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told Reuters.
Security has thus been stepped up in the country over the string of incidents. It is believed that approximately 1,200 French nationals are involved with Islamic jihadist groups.
As previously reported, a similar incident occurred in New York City last October when a 32-year-old Muslim convert who expressed his disdain for America and Christians charged a group of four police officers with a hatchet, striking one in the head and gashing another in the arm. Zale Thompson was shot dead seconds later. He reportedly had made comments on Facebook and YouTube that characterized white Christians as being “aggressive and violent” and spoke against the “Christianized Negro” for becoming adherents of the religion “his slave master gave him.”
“If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for Jihad!” he wrote. “Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to Jihad fisabeelallah?”