how the terrorist’s confusing profile lured the actors responsible for monitoring him


Police officers guard a security perimeter, near the site where the knife attack took place on Saturday evening around 9 p.m., in the 15th arrondist, in Paris.

The author of the attack which left one dead – a 23-year-old German-Filipino tourist – and two injured, Saturday December 2 in the evening, near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, had already been tried for crimes of terrorism. Armand R.-M. was in fact sentenced, on March 16, 2018, to five years in prison, four of which were suspended, for “terrorist criminal ociation” by the 16e chamber of the Paris criminal court.

This 26-year-old Franco-Iranian is not the first radicalized detainee to commit an attack after his release from prison: Chérif Kouachi had also been convicted of terrorism before committing the killing of Charlie Hebdo in 2015, nine years after his release. But while several dozen jihadists will have served their sentences in the years to come, his action inevitably raises the question of monitoring terrorists after their release.

This new knife attack also raises the question of psychiatric monitoring of radicalized individuals. Armand R.-M. was under psychiatric treatment since his release from prison in 2020, said the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. Placed in police custody on Saturday evening for terrorist “ination and ination attempts”, he told the police that he “was tired of seeing Muslims die”notably in Gaza, and that France was ” partner in crime ” of Israel.

Photography and graffiti

The legal journey of this man covered by an “S file”, traced by The world from his judgment of March 2018, draws the portrait of an unstable individual, difficult to define, oscillating, in his own words, between phases of ” radicalization “ and of “deradicalization”. His variations were, it seems, enough to deceive the various actors responsible for essing his dangerousness, while it is proven that he was in contact with four seasoned terrorists over the years, three of whom committed crimes. attacks in France.

Born March 21, 1997 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Armand R.-M. was arrested for the first time at the age of 19, seven years before Saturday’s attack. On July 28, 2016, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) discovered that he was in contact with a French jihadist from the Islamic State (IS) group present in the Iraqi-Syrian zone, Maximilien Thibault, who encouraged him to commit a attack in France. The two men had known each other in France, united by a common pion for photographing graffiti on the RER. But Maximilien Thibault would have above all played a decisive role in the radicalization of Armand R.-M.

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