Threat continues a year after attacks in Paris

Lori Hinnant
Associated Press

Paris – — A man wearing a fake explosives vest and wielding a butcher knife was shot to death by police outside a Paris police station Thursday, jolting an already anxious French capital with a new dose of fear as the nation grimly marked a year of terror that started with the newsroom massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

The assailant — who shouted “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great!”— as he waved the knife at officers, was carrying a document with an emblem of the Islamic State group and “an unequivocal claim of responsibility in Arabic,” the prosecutor’s office said.

The extremist group claimed responsibility for the Jan. 7, 2015, attack at Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher grocery store three days later that killed 17 people. The Islamic State group also claimed the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris cafes, restaurants, a sports stadium and a music hall that killed 130 people.

Thursday’s attempted attack shortly before noon in Paris’ multi-ethnic Goutte d’Or neighborhood came almost one year to the minute after two Islamic extremists burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 11 people. Just moments earlier, President Francois Hollande had paid respects to fallen security forces — three of whom were killed last year in terrorist violence — saluting their valor in protecting “this way of life, the one that terrorists want to attack.”

The fallen were killed “so that we can live free,” Hollande said, describing the November attacks as “acts of war.”

But there was no reprieve for France.

Scores of police descended Thursday on the northern neighborhood that was the site of the attempted attack, blocking it off to pedestrians and ordering shops to close.

“It’s like the Charlie Hebdo affair isn’t over,” said Nora Borrias, a 27-year-old waiting for her barricaded street to reopen.

Authorities did not publicly identify the suspect.