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

Okanagan Shuswap weather: Glimpses of sun expected on another wintry day

The sun will be peeking out from behind the clouds for the next few days

Urban Distillery + Liquor moves to West Kelowna

The proprietor has big dreams for the new space

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

Former homeless man hopes to inspire change for others in Kelowna

Dean Schaffler was one of the more recognizable men living on the street in Kelowna

5 Events to check out this weekend local ski hills

Check out this new column from Okanagan events guru Christina Ferreira

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Most Read