French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, who traveled to this city of about 140,000 inhabitants in the Alps, said the man had no known judicial or psychiatric history.
The attacker said “in the name of Jesus Christ” in English when he attacked, according to a video consulted by AFP. When he was detained, he was wearing a Christian cross, and, in his asylum application file, he declared himself a “Christian from Syria,” a police source said.
He would have arrived in France “seven months ago,” said Aeteadal K., a Syrian refugee who was in contact with him in Sweden.
His ex-wife said she left because she did not get Swedish citizenship and expressed her disbelief about the attack.
From the left to the extreme right, political leaders condemned the attack and expressed their solidarity with the victims and their families. The National Assembly observed a minute of silence.
In a context of political tension over a future immigration reform, the leader of the right-wing opposition party Los Republicanos (LR), Éric Ciotti, who advocates toughening asylum, urged this Thursday to “draw the consequences” of the attack “without naivety, with strength and lucidity”.
France has been the target of a series of traumatic jihadist attacks in the last decade, such as those perpetrated against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the Stade de France and the Bataclan concert hall in 2015, and the city of Nice (southeast) in 2016.
More recently, the 2020 beheading of a teacher in broad daylight near his school on the outskirts of Paris by a Chechen refugee sparked an outpouring of grief and a national debate about the influence of radical Islam in France.
With information from AFP and EFE