13 May 2018 18:42

Knifeman who attacked people in Paris born in Chechnya but his personality formed in France - Kadyrov

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - Khamzat Azimov, the man who attacked several people with a knife in Paris on Saturday, was born in Chechnya but then lived in France for a long time, Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov said.

"French police say that Khamzat Azimov, a young man armed with a knife, is a citizen of France and a Russian native of Chechen origin. Indeed, Khamzat Azimov obtained a Russian passport when he reached the age of 14," Kadyrov said on Telegram.

Azimov's Russian passport is currently invalid, as he failed to have it replaced with a new one at the age of 20, Kadyrov said.

"In this regard, I see fit to declare that all responsibility for the fact that Khamzat Azimov embarked on the path of crime entirely rests with the French authorities. He was only born in Chechnya but grew up in French society and his personality, his views and convictions were formed there," Kadyrov said.

Kadyrov added that, based on his information, Azimov might have had contacts with French law enforcement and national security agencies.

"Western countries have created hothouse conditions for everyone with hostile sentiments toward Russia in general and Chechnya in particular and special services are training them to act in armed conflict zones in the Middle East and to join the Iblis State [the way Kadyrov refers to Islamic State, a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia]," he said.

"Perhaps, some of those proteges go out of control and commit such crimes. I'd like to point out once again: Khamzat grew up in France and became a criminal in that country. I am convinced that, had he spent his childhood and youth in Chechnya, Khamzat's fate would have been different!" Kadyrov said.

As reported earlier, the man who attacked several people in central Paris on Saturday had been known to the French security services as a supporter of radical Islamists. He was assigned the so-called S status, which indicates that someone might be a security threat due to their radical views.

The man killed one and injured four other people before policemen shot him dead.

French media said the attacker was 20, his name was Khamzat Azimov and he was born in Chechnya. He obtained French citizenship in 2010 and studied at a university in Strasbourg. Before committing the attack, he had lived in Paris with his parents.

French national security services have kept Azimov under surveillance since 2016.