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Foiled Paris Attack: Officials Struggle to ID Knife-Wielding Assailant

by F. Brinley Bruton and Nancy Ing /

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PARIS — Officials were struggling to determine the identity of the knife-wielding man who was shot dead outside a Paris police station a day after the foiled attack.

"We’re faced with an isolated individual," Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told France Inter radio on Friday.

The prosecutor's office said a terrorism investigation has been opened into the incident, which took place outside the Goutte d'Or police station in the 18th arrondissement.

The suspect was carrying a butcher's knife and shouted "Allahu akbar" — or "God is greatest" — before he was shot by police, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office on Thursday.

It said a piece of paper with the ISIS flag and a claim handwritten in Arabic were found on the suspect, along with a cellphone. The suspect's identity has not yet been confirmed, the statement added.

The incident, which came as France marked the one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, raised tensions in a country still reeling after Islamist extremists laid siege to Paris and killed 130 people across the city. France has been under a state of emergency since those Nov. 13 attacks.

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