Terror probe opened into Eiffel Tower incident

The Eiffel Tower welcomes Neymar on Saturday night                  AFP  Olivier Morin

French police have detained a 19-year-old knife-wielding man who tried to force his way into Paris' Eiffel Tower.

The alleged terrorist, of 19 years old, was captured when violating at 23:30 local time on August 5 one of the controls for access to the facility when he shouted of "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the biggest), and a knife was seized with which he allegedly meant to attack the guards.

Investigations have been opened to the Anti-Terrorist Section of the Criminal Brigade (SAT) and to the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) and the charges are "terrorist criminal association for the commission of crimes of genocide, attacks on persons" and "attempted assassination of persons holding public authority in connection with a terrorist enterprise", added the report.

Although a French national, the man was born in Mauritania, an African Arab nation, in 1998.

According to Reuters, the suspect told police he wanted to attack a soldier and that he'd been communicating with the Islamic State, who encouraged him to go ahead with the attack.

City authorities plan to replace the makeshift barriers now surrounding the Eiffel Tower with bulletproof glass walls on two sides, and metal fences on the other two.

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Police say the suspect had been recently been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, and tried to breach security at the tourist attraction.

The man is now under investigation for terrorism offences.

No one was injured and the tower was evacuated at 11:30 p.m., about half an hour before the tower stops admitting visitors.

Monuments in the French capital have occasionally been evacuated for security reasons, as the country remains on alert after deadly attacks since 2015.

Last night, the Eiffel Tower was lit in red and blue in the colours of the football club "Paris Saint Germain" in honour of the arrival of the Brazilian star Neymar.

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