A Chechen immigrant on France’s extremist watchlist allegedly stabbed a teacher to death Friday morning and wounded two others in a suspected terror attack, according to reports from the country.
It happened in the city of Arras, about 115 miles north of Paris, near the border with Belgium, and a suspect is in custody, according to France Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
A bystander recorded part of the attack on cellphone video. It appears to have been taken from an upstairs window and shows a violent altercation in a paved courtyard. It shows a group of men struggling – one of whom is holding a chair who falls down.
The attacker kicks him as onlookers warn, “He has a knife,” according to a Reuters translation of the clip.
Another man picks up the chair from the one who fell and appears to try and scare off the attacker, but he slips. The assailant then jumps on him, swinging several times at his face and chest. The victim stands up, stumbles for a few feet and then collapses as the clip ends.
One person died and at least one other suffered injuries.
The 20-year-old suspect was already on a terror watchlist, according to AFP, which cited a police source who said he shouted the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar!” during the attack.
Sliman Hamzi, a police officer identified as one of the first on scene, told The Associated Press he heard the phrase as well and that the attacker was a former student of the Lycee Gambetta High School, where the attack took place.
The suspect was identified as Mohammed Mogouchkov by La Voix du Nord, a newspaper based in northern France.
The French reports noted that the knife attack happened just shy of three years to the day of the beheading of another French teacher, Samuel Paty, who was also killed by a radicalized Chechen.
“When he turned around and asked me if I am a history teacher, I immediately thought of Samuel Paty,” philosophy teacher Marin Doussau, who said he fled from the suspect and barricaded himself behind a door until police arrived, told The Associated Press.
French authorities said they suspect terror as a motive in the attack, which comes amid a raging conflict in Israel following a terror-fueled attack by Hamas terrorists based in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, Darmanin ordered a country-wide ban on demonstrations in support of the Palestinians.
At least 24 people have been charged with antisemitic acts in the country since the Hamas attack on Israel last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.