A Frenchman arrested for killing three Kurds in Paris last week told investigators he harbors a “pathological” hatred of foreigners, the city’s prosecutor said Sunday.
The 69-year-old man was arrested on Friday after killing two men and a woman at a Kurdish cultural center and a nearby Kurdish cafe in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, in what French President Emmanuel Macron described as a “vile” attack. about the Kurds of France.
The killings shocked France and stunned the Kurdish community, which was preparing to mark the 10th anniversary of the unsolved killing of three activists in 2013. Thousands of people took to the streets across France in protests this weekend to complain about the lack of security and claim that French security services had too few to stop the shooting. At the protests in Paris, there were clashes between some demonstrators and the police.
During questioning, the suspect said that since the burglary of his house in 2016, he felt a “hatred of foreigners that has become completely pathological,” prosecutor Laura Becuau said in a statement. Since then he wanted to kill migrants or foreigners who are not from Europe.
The man described himself as “depressed” and with “suicidal” tendencies, saying he planned to kill himself with a final bullet after the attack, the prosecutor said.
The man told investigators that he first traveled to the town of Saint-Denis, north of Paris, armed with a gun and looking for foreigners to “kill”. He abandoned the idea because there were few people and his clothes made it difficult to load the gun.
He finally decided to head to Rue d’Enghien in the 10th arrondissement of Paris because he knew there was a Kurdish cultural center there. When he reached the center, he opened fire.
A search of the house of the suspect’s parents, where he lived, did not find evidence of a connection with extremist ideology, the Paris prosecutor said.
Kurdish representatives called for Friday’s shooting to be considered a terrorist attack. The prosecutor said the questioning of the man was interrupted on Saturday due to his medical condition and that he was transferred to a psychiatric unit.
French media described the man as a former French conductor and gun enthusiast who was born in the Paris area and had a history of weapons-related offences.
He was recently released from prison, where he served a year in custody awaiting trial for a saber attack on a migrant camp in eastern Paris a year ago, where he was accused of stabbing migrants and slashing their tents with a sword.