Suspect admits to stabbing French soldier, prosecutor

Police patrol La Défense earlier this month
Police patrol La Défense earlier this month Flickr/ediblepoly

A man has admitted to Saturday’s stabbing of a French soldier in a Paris shopping mall, prosecutors say. The suspect, who was arrested early on Wednesday, is reported to have been found thanks to his Paris region travel card.


The man, known as Alexandre, turns 22 on Thursday, according to Paris prosecutor Xavier Molins.

Media report the suspect left his bagn which contained a transit pass, at the scene of the attack in Paris's La Défense district.


Without going into detail, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said antiterrorist squads and forensic laboratories were able to analyse materials left at the scene.

"The surveillance tapes installed in the transit system and DNA evidence led to the arrest," he said. "We are fortunate to have captured him, not only because of this inexplicable attack on a soldier, but also because we had no way of telling if he was preparing to strike again."

He converted to Islam and was known to police after having his identity checked while taking part in prayers in the street in 2007.

Molins said the man “admitted to the act” of stabbing Private First Class Cédric Cordiez when he was arrested in the Yvelines region, near Paris.

Investigators are trying to find out whether there was any link to the London murder of off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby last week.

One of the suspects in that attack, Michael Adebolajo, said he acted because British soldiers have killed Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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