The ever-present threat of terrorism is escalating in Europe.
Police engaged in a four-hour-long standoff with an armed man who had taken hostages in a northern district of Paris on Tuesday.
Thankfully, the standoff ended without bloodshed.
Violent, armed man takes hostages
The man — described by police as a Muslim man who was “determined and violent,” and wearing a mask and black clothing — was known to be armed with a knife and claimed to have a handgun and bomb, as well as an accomplice nearby with another bomb.
He took a number of people hostage in the courtyard of a building that housed both offices and residential apartments in the late afternoon hours of Tuesday.
Negotiators arrived and began to speak with the hostage-taker, who demanded that he be put in contact with the Iranian ambassador in Paris and spoke about such things as Iran, Islam, the 9/11 terror attacks, and the recent kidnapping/murder of a young girl. But authorities have claimed that the man was “not a terrorist.”
A couple of people were able to escape the armed man, including a pregnant woman and a man who had been punched in the face. When the standoff ended, at least one of the hostages was found to have been drenched with gasoline which the “non-terrorist” hostage-taker had threatened to ignite.
Hostages “safe and sound”
Thankfully the hostages were recovered “safe and sound,” if in a state of shock, once police ended the standoff and took the “non-terrorist” into custody around 8 p.m. Paris time.
According to ABC News, police later identified the man as a 26-year-old from Morocco. It was unclear if the man held French citizenship.
He now faces a number of criminal charges from the incident, including kidnapping and sequestration, as well as attempted homicide and violence with a weapon… but “not terrorism.”
Parisian authorities have been quiet on much of the details of the incident, such as how many hostages there were total and what the hostage-taker’s motivations really were — but they were quick to rule out “extremism” or terrorism.
They may want to downplay what has all the appearances of a failed terrorist plot, but we’ve seen this type of thing play out before and know terrorism when we see it — and this is most likely NOT “not terrorism.”