Three soldiers stabbed outside Jewish Community centre in Nice
Moussa Coulibaly, 30, was arrested by police shortly after attack
Was arrested in Turkey last week, thought to have been set to join ISIS
Shares last name with Paris terrorist, but it is a common name
One man who stabbed the soldiers is detained, two others flee
The soldiers were on anti-terror patrol at Jewish community centre
by, Sara Malm | Daily Mail Online
The man who stabbed three soldiers outside a Jewish community centre in Nice today, was apprehended in Turkey last week while en-route to join ISIS, authorities believe.
Moussa Coulibaly, 30, was arrested at Istanbul airport and deported back to France after border control became suspicious, a security source has said.
His shares the last name of Amedy Coulibaly, who took hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris and gunned down a policewoman last month.
The surname is relatively common among families of Malian descent, but anti-terrorist police have confirmed they are ‘investigating a link’ between the pair.
Video courtesy of: Get News
Coulibaly was detained after the attack, near the Galeries Lafayette department store, and a second man has since been arrested by police.
The attack took place in central Nice around 2pm this afternoon, after Coulibaly had been fined for travelling on the tram without a ticket.
He ‘paid the fine without flinching and then rushed at the soldiers,’ The Local reports.
Coulibaly then pulled an eight-inch blade out of a bag and set upon one of the soldiers, injuring him in the chin, police said.
Coulibaly then swiped at two other soldiers – injuring one in the cheek, and the other in the forearm – before being apprehended by riot police stationed near the building.
He has a record of theft and violence, but the motive for the attack is not yet clear, an anonymous police official said.
The attack took place outside a Jewish community centre in Nice, home to an Israeli association and a Jewish radio station.
A manager at the center, who did not want to be identified because she was afraid, confirmed soldiers posted in front of the building were attacked. She said it happened around lunchtime and no one was inside the office.
France has been on high alert since the attacks in the Paris region by three Islamic extremists that left 20 people dead, including the gunmen.
More than 10,000 soldiers have been deployed around the country to protect sensitive locations, including major shopping areas, synagogues, mosques and transit hubs.
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Earlier Tuesday, French authorities arrested seven men and a woman suspected of involvement in a network sending fighters to join ISIS in Syria.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said those arrested in the Paris and Lyon areas are not suspected of links to the attacks against a kosher grocery and newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January.
Three of those arrested Tuesday had traveled to Syria and returned in December 2014, a French official said, though it was unclear whether they joined the Islamic State group or another group.
The network began sending French fighters to Syria in May 2013, and at least one of them was killed there, the official said. Other members of the network are still in Syria.
The group did not appear to be involved in any particular plot, or linked to any other networks already broken up in France in recent months, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly identified discussing security matters.
France has seen hundreds of homegrown radicals join extremists abroad, most linked to ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Cazeneuve said recent atrocities by the Islamic State group – including the killing of a Japanese hostage – ‘only strengthen the government’s determination to fight terrorism every day and every hour.’
French authorities have come under criticism for being overzealous in cracking down on potential threats since the attacks, arresting dozens for comments seen as defending terrorism and notably questioning an eight-year-old boy.
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