A Mauritanian-born French citizen brandished a knife at an Eiffel Tower security checkpoint and shouted “Allahu akbar,” but police are investigating the incident as a non-terrorist attack, just a common crime.
The incident took place late Saturday night, but details were released Sunday.
No one was hurt in the assault, but the famous tower was briefly evacuated, according to a statement Sunday from the company that manages the monument. The tower reopened as usual Sunday morning.
A judicial official said the man tried to force his way into the secure zone. He was quickly surrounded by security forces and surrendered, the official said. A Paris police official said no shots were fired.
While the man is accused of glorifying terrorism, the assault is not being investigated by anti-terrorism investigators, the judicial official said, because of his history of psychiatric problems and because authorities have no reason to believe he was part of a network.
The suspect’s name has not been released.
Monuments in the French capital are occasionally evacuated for security reasons, as the country remains on alert after deadly attacks since 2015.