The Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, center, speaks with police officers after delivering a speech to say counterterrorism authorities are investigating after a knife attack that left at least two dead including the assailant in central Paris, Saturday May 12, 2018. Paris police officers evacuated people from some buildings in the Right Bank neighborhood after the attack, and bar patrons and opera-goers described surprise and confusion. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

French police question parents and friends of Paris attack suspect

Counterterrorism authorities are investigating after a knife attack left at least two dead including the assailant in central Paris

French police on Monday were questioning the parents and a friend of a 20-year-old man who attacked passers-by with a knife in Paris, amid questions about how France’s radical watch list is used.

Khamzat Azimov, a French citizen born in the Russian republic of Chechnya, killed one person and wounded four others in Saturday’s attack, before police fatally shot him. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Azimov’s parents and a friend from the eastern city of Strasbourg were being detained by police. Under French law, people questioned in an investigation relating to alleged terrorism can be taken into custody for up to four days.

A judicial official said Monday the suspect was living in the northern 18th district of Paris with his family, which had previously lived in Strasbourg.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the ongoing investigation.

Related: Paris stabbing spree

Related: Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

Counterterrorism investigators want to know if the assailant had help or co-conspirators.

French authorities said the suspect was on a police watch list for radicalism, but he had a clean criminal record.

Conservative leader Laurent Wauquiez on Sunday criticized the government’s “blindness” and “inaction.” His Republicans party called on centrist President Emmanuel Macron to take measures to “preventively intern the most dangerous individuals” listed as radicalized.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen asked in a tweet what the list was for if it wasn’t used to stop potential attackers.

French authorities have previously explained that the register, designed as a tool for intelligence services, contains the names of thousands of individuals suspected of being radicalized but who have yet to perform acts of terrorism.

French Interior minister Gerard Collomb will hold a meeting with France’s prefects in charge of defence and security later Monday.

Azimov obtained French nationality in 2010. He was born in the largely Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya, where extremism has long simmered. Chechens have been among the numerous foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, some joining the Islamic State cause early in the fighting.

French media report the victim killed in the attack was a 29-year-old man identified only by his first name, Ronan, who was living in the 13th district of Paris. One of his neighbours told reporters he was a “very smiling” man, with a “great generosity.”

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Abbotsford’s Batra disqualified after late attack

Austin Batra loses title after knocking opponent out in 32 seconds

Nominees announced for annual Arty Awards

Event takes place Sept. 29 at The Reach in Abbotsford

Family, friends of Mission murder victim hold protest rally

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Abbotsford Olympians back in the pool

Local swim club ready for new season

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Campaign seeks to add Farsi to B.C. school curriculum options

Group wants Farsi added to list of nine languages in policy covering second language requirements

Trudeau urges leaders to follow Nelson Mandela’s example at UN tribute

Peace summit in New York marks 100th birthday of former South African president

Senate seats filled in B.C., Saskatchewan

Canada’s newest senators are the first woman to lead the RCMP and a Cree Metis businessman

Newfoundland’s popular ‘merb’ys’ calendar is back

The calendar of burly, bearded mermen posing against scenic backdrops for charity returns

Less than half of Metro Vancouverites feel they can influence government: study

SFU researchers suggest most people believe elected officials don’t care

Cap rent increases at inflation rate, B.C. task force recommends

MLAs say drop annual increase that would allow 4.5% rise next year

School, church, old mining site make Heritage BC’s first ‘watch list’

The list includes sites in need of protection to maintain B.C.’s culture and history

5 to start your day

Maple Ridge students send books to fire-destroyed school, teen stabbed in Surrey park and more

Most Read