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Egypt’s Ministry of Interior Confirms Louvre Attack Suspect Is Egyptian | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French police secure the site near the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France, February 3, 2017 after a French soldier shot and wounded a man armed with a machete and carrying two bags on his back as he tried to enter the Paris Louvre museum. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Cairo – Egypt’s interior ministry has finally admitted to the French reports that the suspect of the Louvre museum attack on Friday is Egyptian.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Saturday, through which it expressed Egypt’s condemnation of the attack that took place on Friday in the French capital of Paris. The statement asserted Egypt’s support of France in countering terrorism.

According to the statement, the ministry asked the international community to intensify its efforts in facing the phenomenon of terrorism that is targeting the stability and security of nations.

“Egypt’s nation and government are supporting the French people and government in facing terrorism, following the terrorist attack executed by a man who carried a knife and targeted security personnel in front of the Louvre museum,” the statement read.

The statement didn’t mention the attacker, yet it revealed the Egyptian officials believed suspect is Egyptian.

During a press conference, Paris police chief said that the attacker yelled “Allahu Akbar,” before assailing the soldier, who was slightly injured.

Abdallah el-Hamahmy, 29, was near the museum while waving a machete and two knives on Friday morning. He was shot four times by soldiers after attacking one of them with a machete when he was denied entrance to the shopping center next to the famed gallery.

Parisian police said he had been carrying a bag with a second machete and spray cans filled with paint but no explosives.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the attack “terrorist in nature”.

The Egyptian national, who arrived in Paris last week on a tourist visa issued in Dubai, is currently in hospital but his condition is no longer being described as life-threatening.

Reda el-Hamahmy, father of the man accused, has denied he belonged to any Islamist groups. He said that his son had no criminal record or known links to extremist organizations, was a “very normal young man”.

The father was shocked to learn of his son’s involvement in the attack and found out the news from Facebook. He told Reuters: “Is he alive? Is he dead? Was it really him?”

Colonel Khaled Okasha told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Egyptian suspect is a “lone wolf” adding that nothing is definitive at the moment. He explained that tweets attributed to him are similar to those of terrorists who have executed similar attacks.

Okasha said that the “lone wolf” scenario must not be ruled out, as he could have been remotely recruited.

A Twitter profile by his name showed 12 messages in the minutes running-up to morning’s assault, with one saying: “In the name of Allah… for our brothers in Syria and fighters across the world.”

In another tweet in Arabic written shortly before the Louvre attack, the account posted: “No negotiation, no compromise, no letting up, certainly no climb down, relentless war.”

The account has been since suspended and the police is investigating the tweets.