This Article is From May 29, 2013

Police arrest suspect who stabbed French soldier in Paris

Police arrest suspect who stabbed French soldier in Paris
Paris: Police investigating the stabbing of a French soldier in Paris arrested a suspect today in the Yvelines, just to the west of the nation's capital.

"The suspected perpetrator of the attack on a soldier on Saturday evening in La Defense (business district) was arrested this morning," Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.

Sources close to the investigation said the 22-year-old man has been a follower of a "traditionalist even radical Islam for the last three or four years."

But the sources urged caution in a case that is still in its early stages, saying the suspect was not known to be a jihadist.

The attack on Saturday at a busy underground shopping and transport hub echoed the grisly killing of another soldier in London, but authorities have not yet established a link between the two cases.

Valls told Canal+ on Monday that police had "serious leads" on the identity of the attacker, who stabbed and injured French soldier Cedric Cordiez in the neck while he was on patrol with two colleagues.

The attacker, described by police as bearded and around 6 feet 3 inches tall, approached the 23-year-old soldier, stabbed him and then disappeared into a crowd.

Sources close to the investigation said that the suspect was caught praying on video a few minutes prior to the attack and that a plastic bag containing a bottle, a knife and rubbish was found nearby.

Cordiez was released from a military hospital on Monday morning and had rejoined his unit, military officials said.

Police in France are seeking to determine if the attack was a copycat of the brutal murder of the British soldier in London last Wednesday.

The key suspect in that attack, Michael Adebolajo, was captured on video carrying bloodied knives and a meat cleaver after the attack, saying he had murdered off-duty soldier Lee Rigby because British troops were killing Muslims.