Unmasked: Iranian Islamist who carried out Paris knife rampage – as German tourist he knifed to death before stabbing a Brit while screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ is also pictured for the first time

The Iranian Islamist who killed a German-Filipino tourist and attacked two others, including a British father, near the Eiffel Tower has been unmasked. 

Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, 26, is a convicted terrorist who has been arrested for allegedly starting a bloody rampage in Paris on Saturday night, using a kitchen knife and a hammer.  

He kept screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is the greatest’ – and professing his support for ISIS as he was arrested for targeting the German tourist, named only as Collin, a British national identified only as Melvyn, 66, and a 60-year-old French man called Thierry. 

Rajabpour-Miyandoab, who had severe psychiatric problems and who was meant to be under surveillance by France‘s intelligence services, set upon Collin in front of his wife and another female friend.

Both Collin and his partner were nurses, and had worked in a retirement home in Germany since January, said an investigating source.

German-Filipino tourist Collin – a 24-year-old identified by his first name only – was the first victim of Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab

Rajabpour-Miyandoab, left, who had severe psychiatric problems and who was meant to be under surveillance by France ‘s intelligence services, set upon Collin, right, in front of his wife

Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he was taken in by Paris police, who immobilised him with a stun gun

Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he was taken in by Paris police, who immobilised him with a stun gun

‘The murder victim was devoted to caring for other people,’ he added. ‘During his holiday in Paris he had visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Disneyland.’

Following the attack on Collin, he went after Melvyn, who was on holiday in Paris at the time of the attack. 

The British father was stabbed in the eye in the attack, and on Monday was recovering from the wound in hospital in central Paris.

The terrorist also attacked 60-year-old Thierry, who had been out walking with his wife and child, hitting him with a hammer. He too was still in hospital on Monday.

Following a chase, and the intervention of a taxi driver, Rajabpour-Miyandoab was finally disabled by police using tasers.

Rajabpour-Miyandoab was expected to be charged with a range of offences including terrorist murder on Monday.

France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed the suspect had officially been on an ‘S-list’, for surveillance.

Rajabpour-Miyandoab had expressed his anger at the mass killing of Muslims in Gaza by Israeli armed forces, and said ‘France was complicit’, said Mr Darmanin.

In 2018, Rajabpour-Miyandoab was sentenced to five years in prison for terrorist conspiracy.

The son of two Iranian refugees who was born in France, he had converted to Islam in 2015 after being radicalised online by an Isis supporter, according to prosecution documents.

Rajabpour-Miyandoab was well known for forging online links with other terrorists including Larossi Aballa, who went on to stab two police officers to death in Magnanville in June 2016.

Another Facebook friend was Adel Kermiche, one of the perpetrators of the stabbing to death of a Catholic priest in Saint-Étienne du Rouvray in the same year.

Many of those linked with such crimes were, like Rajabpour-Miyandoab, on S-Files, but managed to carry out atrocities anyway.

Rajabpour-Miyandoab later claimed to have completed a ‘deradicalisation programme’, claiming he had lost interest in terrorism.

In court in 2018, he said ‘Islamism was ruining my life’, claiming he had taken to drinking beer and eating pork – activities which are barred to practising Muslims.

But online activity showed that Rajabpour-Miyandoab was still researching how to make phosphorus bombs.

Terrorism prosecutors said on Sunday they were investigating the murder and attempted murder ‘in connection with a terrorist plot’.

Three people ‘close to’ Rajabpour-Miyandoab were being held in custody yesterday afternoon following the incident by Bir Hakeim bridge over the River Seine, prosecutors said. 

A forensic police officer works at the scene on Saturday night following the terror attack in the French capital

A forensic police officer works at the scene on Saturday night following the terror attack in the French capital

Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, 26, was released from prison in 2020, and left to live at home with his parents while undergoing 'psychiatric and neurological treatment

Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, 26, was released from prison in 2020, and left to live at home with his parents while undergoing ‘psychiatric and neurological treatment

Rajabpour-Miyandoab was ‘being monitored in a way that did not mean he was being hospitalised, and was supposed to follow a course of treatment’ for his mental health issues, said Aurélien Rousseau, the French health minister.

‘As often in these cases, there’s a mixture of an ideology, an easily influenced person and, unfortunately, psychiatry,’ he added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X that he was ‘devastated’ by the attack, saying that ‘our thoughts are with the wounded, their families and friends’.

Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faeser had earlier warned that ‘the war in Gaza after Hamas’ terrorist act (of October 7) has worsened the threat,’ saying that ‘the threat of Islamist terrorism is acute and serious’.

Police and security sources confirmed the attacker had claimed responsibility in a social media video as he struck, speaking about ‘current events, the government (and) the murder of innocent Muslims’.

The 24-year-old German-Filipino nurse was killed as a taxi driver intervened to keep the attacker away from his wife.

Video of the suspect’s arrest shows him slowly backing away from several French police officers while carrying what appears to be a hammer. 

Two officers stride towards him as he backs away on the corner of a street in Paris. 

Following a chase, and the intervention of a taxi driver, Rajabpour-Miyandoab was finally disabled by police using tasers. 

Rousseau told broadcaster France 3 that the wounded victims suffered only ‘superficial (physical) traumas, but of course psychological traumas that will be enormous’. 

On Sunday both surviving victims were still undergoing medical care – one at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, the other at the city’s Cochin hospital. Their condition was said to be ‘stable’. 

French gendarmes patrol the Trocadero plaza on the opposite bank of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower following the bloodbath on Saturday

French gendarmes patrol the Trocadero plaza on the opposite bank of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower following the bloodbath on Saturday

French police attend the scene following the terrorist knife attack near the Bir Hakeim bridge and Quai de Grenelle

French police attend the scene following the terrorist knife attack near the Bir Hakeim bridge and Quai de Grenelle

The attacker, who has been named locally as Armand R., shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he was taken in by Paris police, who immobilised him with a stun gun

The attacker, who has been named locally as Armand R., shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he was taken in by Paris police, who immobilised him with a stun gun

The deadly attack in central Paris during a busy weekend night came with the country on its highest alert for attack

The deadly attack in central Paris during a busy weekend night came with the country on its highest alert for attack

The attack has rocked France, which has seen tensions rise amid the Israel-Hamas conflict

The attack has rocked France, which has seen tensions rise amid the Israel-Hamas conflict

Tensions have risen in France, home to large Jewish and Muslim populations, following Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7 and Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip

Tensions have risen in France, home to large Jewish and Muslim populations, following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 and Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip

The deadly attack in central Paris during a busy weekend night came with the country on its highest alert for attacks, as tensions rise against the background of the war between Israel and Hamas.

The second victim of the attack was British, and was out walking with his wife when Armand R. attacked him from behind.

‘The family were on the Avenue President Kennedy when they were set upon,’ said an investigating source, who added: ‘A hammer was used to hit the man over the head.’

The Englishman was rushed to hospital, where his condition was later described as ‘stable’. A third victim was also badly hurt in a hammer attack, said the source. 

The UK’s Foreign Office said on Sunday: ‘We are supporting a British man who was injured in Paris, and are in contact with the local authorities.’ 

The area by Bir Hakeim bridge, usually thronging with tourists and locals, was cordoned off by police and bright with the flashing lights of security forces and emergency services.

A taxi driver who witnessed the scene intervened, Mr Darmanin said. 

‘He had threatened them very violently… he will now have to answer for his actions before justice,’ Mr Darmanin said.

The attack has rocked France, which has seen tensions rise amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.  

President Emmanuel Macron said he was sending his condolences to the family of a German killed in the ‘terrorist attack’.

Police by the Bir-Hakeim bridge... a police source said that the attacker was known for psychiatric disorders and had said he could not stand Muslims being killed in the world

Police by the Bir-Hakeim bridge… a police source said that the attacker was known for psychiatric disorders and had said he could not stand Muslims being killed in the world

A man was stabbed to death and two other tourists injured in the frenzied attack in Paris

A man was stabbed to death and two other tourists injured in the frenzied attack in Paris

Police seal off access to the Bir-Hakeim bridge

Police seal off access to the Bir-Hakeim bridge

Macron, writing on X, thanked security forces for their quick arrest of the suspected attacker and said justice should be served ‘in the name of the French people’. 

‘Paris is in mourning after this terrible attack,’ transport minister Clement Beaune wrote on X.

Joseph S, a 37-year-old supermarket manager who asked not to give his last name, witnessed the scene as he sat in a bar, and said he heard screams and people shouting ‘help, help’ as they ran. 

He said a man wielding an object attacked a man who had fallen down, and within 10 minutes the police arrived. 

France has suffered several attacks by Islamist extremists, including the November 2015 suicide and gun attacks in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group in which 130 people were killed.

There had been a relative lull in recent years, even as officials have warned that the threat remains.

But tensions have risen in France, home to large Jewish and Muslim populations, following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 and Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Security in Paris is also under particular scrutiny as it gears up to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

In October, teacher Dominique Bernard was killed in the northern French town of Arras by a young radicalised Islamist from Russia’s Caucasus region.

Leave a Comment