France Labels Terrorist Recent Incident in Eiffel Tower

The man was arrested by police at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

The incident at the world-famous tourist site was initially treated as a criminal matter, but was later designated a counter-terrorism case because of the suspect's statements to police and his apparent radicalization, the source said.

According to the company that runs the Eiffel Tower, a man tried to force his way through one of the security checks at the entrance at about 11.30pm (local time) on Saturday.

Armed soldiers who are permanently stationed at the Eiffel Tower ordered him to drop his weapon, which he did without attacking anyone, the source said, asking not to be named.

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After the arrest, police at the site checked the venue and called for it to be evacuated at around 11.15pm - nearly an hour before the Eiffel Tower normally closes.

France has been on high alert since a series of terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016 in which more than 230 people died.

The detainee, according to a source close to the investigation, has a history of mental disorders and left a psychiatric facility in late July, but in his statements to the police said he carried out the action as a member of the terrorist group Islamic State (EI).

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When arrested on Saturday night, the man was reportedly wearing the colors of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team.

He quickly surrendered when he was surrounded by security forces.

The Eiffel Tower was evacuated after a man wielding a knife tried to attack a soldier. patrolling the area.

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Although a French national, the man was born in Mauritania, an African Arab nation, in 1998.

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